Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pauline Oliveros, Leaf Miller, Zevin Polzin, and Zane Van Dusen

■ Artist: Pauline Oliveros, Leaf Miller, Zevin Polzin, and Zane Van Dusen
■ Title: Adaptive Use Musical Instrument
■ Year: 2008
■ Work Description:
Abstract:This project introduces motion tracking software designed to be used in creative music sessions. Rather than presupposing a full range of movement, or more complicated gestures than some children are capable of making, this project amplifies very small, limited movements into real musical expression. The only gestures our participants have made previously to communicate are all binary: yes/no answers, or using physical switches to turn music on or off. Our software gives children and adults with very limited motor skills the opportunity to improvise music. The software programmed in MaxMSP runs on either Mac or PC, and requires a computer with camera and speakers.Short project description:Users of the Adaptive Use Software may play a virtual keyboard by turning their heads a little bit left and/or right to activate the keys sequentially. At this stage of development it is possible to invent scalar stepwise melodies. A variety of different scales or modes with different sound qualities may be selected. Users may also work with drum sounds. The camera detects head movements, with drum sound samples mapped to sections on the screen that can be adjusted for the range of head movement. Users are able to play solo or with other drummers in ensemble. The software has been successfully tested at Rehab Programs Inc. School in Poughkeepsie NY, in a weekly drum class developed by musician and occupational therapist Leaf Miller with technical assistance and programming by Zane Van Duzen and Zevin Polzin.

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