Multi-Laser Gestural Interface (MLGI)
The MLGI (NIME 2009) is an open-source + modular “gestural interface” that uses beams of laser light and photo cells to create a physical, fluid musical instrument. Designed while studying Music Technology with Dr. Ajay Kapur at California Institute of the Arts, the MLGI was initially conceived as a means to help bring a physical interactivity to laptop music performance. By removing the performer from behind the laptop, the audience has a clearer visual connection between the performer’s interaction with the interface and the sounds being created.
The MLGI connects to the computer via USB (using the CUI Interface designed by Dan Overholt at UCSB), and is designed to transmit either MIDI or OSC to the performer’s software. The MLGI’s modularity comes out of its simple internal design. The technology used to build the MLGI can be housed in practically anything, allowing for limitless configurations.
After the initial two were built (each housed 6 sensors/lasers), I was commissioned by composer David Rosenboom to design two separate MLGI controllers for his interactive opera Ah!. The first was a 10 sensor/laser controller designed to fit above the keys of a grand piano. The second was a large 12 sensor/laser acrylic tetrahedron designed for dancer interaction and performance. The MLGI has also been used as a live VJ tool, a digital tampura, and as an interface to control musical robotics.
For additional information on the MLGI, please feel free to contact me. I will try to have proper documentation available soon!
Six-Channel Hemispherical Speakers
In June of 2009, Jim Murphy and I were commissioned to build 10 six-channel hemispherical speaker systems for the CalArts MTIID department. Our design was based on the “Delorean” hemispherical speaker, which was created by Dan Truman, Perry Cook, and Curtis Bahn at Princeton University. Their design uses an aluminum shell, but in order to save money, we decided to follow Ge Wang’s less expensive approach.
Like the speakers at CCRMA, our hemispherical speakers were built using 10 wooden salad bowls from IKEA, along with 20 hand-assembled amplifiers and 60 four inch speakers. Each speaker system was hand-wired, and all of the cable assemblies were hand-built. Lesley Fairman and Michael Darling were integral to the completion of the speaker bases.
To see a video example of both the MLGI and the Hemispherical Speakers, click on the following link. (VIDEO) If you are interested in building your own hemispherical speaker array, click HERE for a detailed builder’s guide. Please email me if you have any questions or comments.