Expanding the Musical Innovation

I know I haven’t posted in a while but rest assure, I have a ton of new information and I’m ready to write. So, in the last post that I put up mentioned an organization called NIME and after posting it I realized that I didn’t really know anything about the organization or what it does. I looked around on the internet a bit and ended up on the NIME website and learned that it stands for New Interface Musical Expression, which it great because that what my essay is all about! I went through a large archive of papers published at NIME conferences and came across a new type of MIDI known as Daft Datum and decided to incorporate it in my paper.

Daft Datum – An Interface for Producing Music Through Foot-based Interaction details the makings of a new media instruments that produces musical sounds through foot interactions on a sensory sheet which is attached to a wooden platform and dance pad. Attributes of the synthesized sound, such as pitch and octave, can be controlled using a wireless Nintendo Wii Remote. To make things easier to understand, the Daft Datum is like playing on a Dance Dance Revolution dance pad but the music heard is consequential to the movements of the user. The dance pad contains pre-recorded musical loops that can be triggered and synchronized in real-time by a user’s feet as they dance to create music. The tunes created from the Daft Datum can then be altered by using the controls on the Wii Remote and be replayed for the musician to listen to. I myself really enjoy music and dancing so being able to combine the two and create some insane musical magic would be awesome!

So far we have gone from little machines DJs use to get the crowd going, to instruments that can be played with the mind all the way to interfaces that translate highly expressive bodily gestures into an equally expressive sound. These types of advancements in musical instruments are great signs of innovation in the devices used to create music.  That is why all three of the articles that I have posted are key to my argument by giving a variety of MIDIs and how people are trying to progress them. I want to show people that innovation in musical instruments needs to continue to be fostered not just because we have the means to do but because it can lead to a variety of things. Things like multi-million one man bands, allowing the physically disabled to be musicians, and make the music learning process easier for everyone. It may just be the musica fan in me but this is a cause worth fighting for.

This is a video that shows the Daft Datum in action, check it out!


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