Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Imogen Heap's Musical Gloves

With most concerts, what you see is what you hear: A guitarist cozying up to a speaker for feedback, a drummer tapping the high-hat, a singer breathing into the mic. There’s a visual, interactive element to the show that plays a huge role in how much fun it is for the audience.

Not all musicians have that luxury. Go to an electronic music concert and most of the time you’ll find the artist hunched over a computer, turning knobs and poking buttons. You hear sounds, but rarely do you know how they’re made or where they’re coming from. At best, this effect is mysterious; at worst, it’s boring.

Imogen Heap, a singer-songwriter, has been making music with computers for more than a decade. Her music is complex and engaging, but it’s also difficult to translate into a live performance. It requires a stage-full of equipment: samplers, loopers, computers, acoustic and electronic instruments, all of which Heap has to play individually.

Heap recently launched a Kickstarter for Mi.Mu Gloves, a project she’s been working on for the past four years to free musicians like herself from the traditional constraints of playing electronic music live. The gloves are essentially mini-computers that wirelessly control music through programmable gestures. MORE HERE

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