Dorkbot tonight was pretty epic. There was a concert.
Colin began his demonstration by saying that, “the things that make an instrument useful in a live performance — are things that give an audience a connection to what you’re doing”.
“Luckinly there’s a guy at Stanford named Maximus Mathhews who invented computer music, luckly he is still there — but like 80 years old”.
Collin Oldham et al showed us two things. First was a trowel (think gardening) with a pizoelectric pickup sent data to a microcontroller to a sensor data to a data catcher, making intense sounds along the way. The setup was like a zen garden on astroturf — and the noises were awesome. In addition, there was an object resenbling a Cello called a “Cellomobo”.
The cellomobo is a computer music instrument that attempts to model the behavior of a bowed string. It gives haptic feedback to the bow at audio rate to simulate the stick-slip action of a bowed string.
This feedback stream finds it way back into the audio stream, creating a unique hybrid of digital and analog synthesis.
The Cello part had haptic sensors and pressure sensors, and made brighter sounds when pushed harder. The pickup was sensitive to bending.
Collin spent the 2005-2006 academic year at Stanford’s Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) where began to develop the electronic musical instruments he presented today.