Projects and works devloped and designed for the Leap Motion
Nuance marks the very beginnings of my exploration with sound and gesture. Around the end of the summer of 2015, I became enthralled and obsessed with the idea of sounds being controlled through motion of the body. At the time, I remained starkly unaware of any communal movement to integrate myself into to help me learn and develop ideas related to gestural control of music and audio. My knowledge of widely known methods of control (OSC, Arduino, Max/MSP, serial data, etc.) lingered in its infancy. My greatest tool, then, was Google.
My frequent internet searches were along the lines of “motion control,” “music gesture control,” or “hands free music control devices.” The idea for developing an instrument involving the Microsoft Kinect was planted during many hours of research, but my lack of programming knowledge at the time was very limiting. It was the Leap Motion device, Ableton Live, and Ethno Tekh's Tekh Tonic software which served as my first swan dive… belly flop into the deep end of gesturally controlled music.
Nuance is a simple piece exploring sine waves, formants, overtones etc. Like many of my pieces for the Leap Motion, it is introspective and meditative.
Tesseract is a very similar piece to sinusoidal in concept. This piece, however, branches out into absolute control of the audio being produced, in terms of the tools being used to create it.
Tesseract uses Cycling 47's Max software, coupled with the simple gesture control of the Leap Motion, to create an introspective soundspace. Using Abelton Live in Nuance and other similar experiments was easy and powerful, though it lacked the clean slate I needed to pull my imaginations into reality. After experimenting with Ableton Live's presets, I quickly turned to max to create my own custom computer music experiences.
This piece uses what call the Multiphone. The Multiphone uses a simple Max patch, coupled with the Leap Motion to produce the sensation that the performer is exploring sound masses on colliding sound planes.
A similar piece to this using the Multiphone patch was performed using three chanting vocalists (Austin Lopez, Stephen Henderson, Stuart Wheeler) and a Multiphonist (Kevin Anthony). Improvisation eventually won out over a graphic score for the piece.
The Tesseract Patch involves extending the Multiphone concept into a three dimensional space.
NOTE that neither patch is visually smooth or practically sensible. These patches were created while I was mostly unfamiliar with UI concepts in Max 7. Expect to see a polished version of both patches in the months to come.