Friday, January 14, 2011


You have to admit that this is pretty cool, the idea of using motion-capture technology (in this case, the Microsoft Kinect) to create music using only bodily motion. It isn't hard to imagine that soon the conductor will actually be the orchestra, that within a matter of years the fine line between musical inspiration and technical proficiency will begin to blur, possibly to the point of ceasing to exist altogether. These videos may be nothing more than nerdy shut-ins with or without Rage Against The Machine posters in their bedrooms toying around with the hot new video game "hacks", but they represent an idea much bigger: that someday music will come straight from the ether, straight from the mind, the soul.

Too bad Leon Theremin already invented this shit 75 years ago.

And I'm not just talking about his best-known invention. Theremin was working on a "full-body theremin" known as the Terpsitone right before his suspicious "deportation" back to Russia in 1938. Theremin went public with his "Terpsitone" in 1936, but his work was unfortunately cut short, and to this day only one Terpsitone, the "Theremin Vox", still exists.

So yeah. Congratulations, "Modern Technology", on catching up with avant-garde science of the 1930's. Keep up the good work.

Read. Read. Read. Read.

Click for full size.


Helm said...

Also as far as I know, the Theremin introduces no latency to the music making process. Kinect is very laggy. As anyone who has hooked up a guitar direct input on a computer and ran it through effects, even 20-30 miliseconds of lag can be felt by the musician playing.

Shelby Cobras said...

Indeed, the main complaint/drawback I've heard about music via Kinect is the latency issue. I'm sure some 14-year-old computer whiz in Iowa will figure out how to fix it soon enough...

Anonymous said...

You just blew the motherfucking cover on this theremin shit.