Intricately Looped Electronic Music Created via Xbox Kinect

By Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

In "Why the Musical Instrument of the Future Might Be the 3D Camera," Australian composer Chris Vik talks about how he designed software for the Kinect, a motion-sensing camera from Xbox, that allows him to translate his movements into sound. Here, he performs at Microsoft's REMIX11 conference by layering and looping sounds he creates via Kinect. 

Kinectar, the custom-built software he created, plays on the flexibility of the inexpensive video game accessory, he explains: 

Kinectar lets computer-based musicians explore the potential of using human movement to control and create music. Although I've been writing electronic music for over 15 years, I have no skills in playing the keyboard (which is the most common way of playing synthesizers live), which I've found really limiting. I suppose there might be a lot of people out there that can sympathize with this, and I feel this was what ended up influencing the direction of my software. The key point to Kinectar is that it isn't a gimmicky program that does one thing that acts like a single-dimensional game -- instead it gives a user complete creative control over how they want to use their movements to control a sound. It's a tool that allows people to explore this very exciting technology that I see as the future of not only music, but human-computer interaction as a whole.

Read the full interview here

For more work by Chris Vik, visit http://kinectar.org/

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/video/archive/2012/04/intricately-looped-electronic-music-created-via-xbox-kinect/256226/