The Lavender Spray: Performance with Kinect

It happened. Some people got hurt, bad. Some may have even wandered home afterwards and hung themselves from silk stockings or rough rope they bought at Home Depot, despondent over the current state of the arts . . . .

(of course, I jest . . . . )

meme™ —media experimental ensemble™—provided a momentary distraction from that state at the FAU Faculty Biennial exhibition last Friday (September 20, 2013) on the Boca campus. It was a well attended event, and much curiosity was aroused by a certain crazed mad scientist in black conducting his torso-controlled remix of  Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra ( seen in video above the final scrolling credits).

Additional Quartz compositions, videojam sets, and film remixes of the work of Ariel Baron-Robbins were provided by Anna Torlen, James Ko, David Wichinsky, Rosena Francois, and August DeWinkler.

Pd via Kinect: SkyRon’s QuadTheremin and Sampler

Yeah, I know—straight out of 2011, but some of us have been busy with other distractions. So, above is a preview of a set of QuadTheremin essays, and below is SkyRon™’s initial performance , assisted by Pooster Beest, of Kick-Ass Kitty fame (view that video here).
And, yes, it’s not really four independent channels of theremin wonderfulness—more like two dual-pitch stereo channels. Both x- and y- axes  control different pitches on each hand, with the z-axis controlling dynamic/volume. I need to adjust the Pd-Kinect router patch in order to make the four channels truly independent.
I suspect this will be a useful start for approaching Kinect control of sound, especially if one keeps it simple—sure, we could have wahwah or vocoder effects added to each foot, but I’m not that good of a dancer! Hands are easier, plus we’ve all studied conducting anyway, right?
For a quick overview of how to build this, go here. Oh, and, ok, here is the first draft of a sample-player controlled in PureData via Kinect—enjoy!

PureData: Crash Course

You know, I’m such a late bloomer. We’re all supposed to discover love and Europe and graphical programming environments in our twenties, and then benefit from long years of further experience with them. Or not.

My current thought strikes a note of optimism, maybe: what if you just dive into PureData (pd) and see what you can do with it? Yes, of course I should have been working with it 20 years ago, but I was preoccupied with other pursuits.

So, now that I’ve had a couple of months of working with pd, and shown a couple of classes how to make simple synthesizers, samplers, and sequencers, I’ve put together a little overview of how to approach pd, as well as a very simple app (links to .zip of pd patches and info) that mixes a sampler with two channels of klang. I’ll probably even use it in the show in April—we’ll see.

Stay tuned!