8 Ways to Say Goodbye to Guitars
The year of comeback for guitar bands? Good call, Guardian, but we’re on a hunt for instruments that will lead us to the future IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE AND ROCK (even if they will zero our chances to make a half decent pop song)! We just gathered you eight of those.
01) BRAIN-TO-COMPUTER INTERFACE
One of the great things about brain-to-computer interfaces (like Emotiv EPOC) is that they can transform your thoughts into sounds, or even music. Apparently brainy music sounds a lot like Garfield on catnip left on a faulty keyboard (Wired’s report on brain music sounds pretty much the same!) but the potential’s definitely there. Too bad we’re still a long way from playing Call of Duty by putting on a headband and just thinking about blowing stuff up.
02) IR SENSOR SHIRT
Adachi Totomi‘s infrared sensor shirt is basically a working construct mainly used for overlaying realtime effects on vocal performances – quite dramatic performances, as you’ll see in the video above!
The PACER suit by Nikola Knezevic and Danilo Zizic, submitted to the Ars Electronica fest is a more complex prototype – it’s basically a stylish and wearable sensor net that transforms your subtle muscle movements to melodies and accompanying beats. An amazing tool for therapeutic treatments with music or with a need to motivate patiens to move.
The Japanese Tenori-On is a much-debated double-sided 16*16 dotmatrix sequencer, often functioning more as a party tool and not as an actually useful instrument of composition. Still, from time to time there’s someone to grab a Tenori-On and use it for something sensible, just like our own household favourite of awesomeness, Little Boots.
05) BEATBOX WITH KAOSS PADS
If you’re reading this, you’ve probably heard about Beardyman and envy his skills of beatboxery – this London Beatbox Convention video of his will show you how using Kaoss Pads can turn your face into a sample bank and your gig a worthy fusion of man and machine. (Note: Japanese scratchmaster TUCKER does the same, only he uses improvises with instruments instead of beatboxing.)
Weird and beautiful! Julian Oliver’s music maker Fijuu2 can play six different instruments – rotating rings will display the melodies we’ve added, the amorphous 3D forms are the instruments themselves. Open source, requires Linux and a PS2 controller. Yes, it is old, but so is harp, a drumkit or the human voice.
07) CIRCUIT BENDING
Reed Ghazala accidentally came across the concept of circuit bent instruments in 1966, but it’s the indie electrohead teenager assassins of doom who really, really took it to the next level of DIY and acessibility. And maybe awkwardness, too, think talking Pikachu calculators from hell, a light theremin or a Tubbiedrone. (Note: look out for the works of Kaseo!)
08) MAYWA DENKI
You don’t necessarily need to say goodbye to your guitar – Japanese sound art collective Maywa Denki might have already turned it into a microphone-aided drumkit dishwasher. Or a centaur-shaped pole that spits sausage and melodies in C minor. Sounds weird? Good. Watch the video above to get a sense of how much our world is bored with everything in it.
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