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+The Case Study, “BodySuit” and “RoboticMusic”

+VirtualAERI II

+RoboricMusic at AV Festival 06
+"Augmented Body and Virtual Body" at Utopiales 05
+"Augmented Body and Virtual Body" at Le Cube 06



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1. Introduction

I have been working numerous compositions and performances with Virtual Musical Instruments. These refer to a system that a gesture of performer is translated into electric signals. One may control sound or video image of computer with movement of body in real time.



2. Virtual Musical Instrument

One of Virtual Musical Instrument that I created is Virtual Violin “SuperPolm”. There is neither string nor hair of bow. A gesture of performance with a violin is merely modeled. One of others is played with lights that are held by hands of performer. As he moves these lights in a space, he can modifies sound and video images. The third one is “BodySuit” (Data Suite), in which there 12 sensors on each joint of body. The performer doesn't’t hold anything on his hands, however, he can play as if he dances.
Virtual instruments, or controllers, cannot produce sounds by themselves. They merely send signals that produce sounds by means of a computer or a sound module. They may be regarded as an interface between the performer and the computer insofar as they translate the energy derived from body movements into electrical signals. At the same time however, they allow the performer to express complex musical ideas. With the help of a controller, a tiny gesture can trigger any number of complex musical passages at one and the same time in a real time context, whereas a traditional instrument can produce only a limited range of sounds.



3. BodySuit

I have chosen to focus on the use of virtual musical instruments in a performance context. One of the instruments I have designed is the “BodySuit”, a suit fitted with bending sensors that are attached to each joint of the body. This suit is an ideal performance tool : it enables me to make wide, sweeping movements that can easily be observed by the audience.
A performer wears a data suit, on which 12 sensors are attached on each joint of the body. This data suit functions as an interface of gesture. Depending on a movement, sound and video images are changed in real time. This differs from a traditional instrument and a controller. A player performs with larger movements, such as stretching and bending joints, twisting arms and so on. This gesture does not function like dance or theater. It contains, however, an element of "performance" within the live musical context. The gesture is not previously decided in a strict sense. An audience may observe an obvious difference of intensity of movement between a static section and a kinetic section in the composition.


PDF file about BodySuit

Article (Virtual Musical Instruments)



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