with Natacha Muslera
We met Natacha and I with her intent to conduct a vocal ensemble composed by non-professional blind vocalist. She came to me to find together a technical system that could provides musical instructions in real time to a group of singer, at the edge between instant composition and improvisation. We chose to develop an haptic device that could transmit tactile signs onto the performers hands. We hacked music stands with electromagnet that transform electric signals into mechanical actuations. This resulted in the definition of a tactile solfeggio. Natacha has experienced and practiced with the group several semi improvised materials, say blow swords, language glitch, bone drones, micro organic grains, … Each of those materials had a specific sign, a code based on a simplified morse style pattern. Our research focused on the intermodality, the brain readiness to sense tactilly while performing and improvising, which is pretty tough and needed a subtile attention. In addition, we develop for the conductor a touch input device (basically a tactile tablet) to be able to conduct, eyes closed, with specific gestures. We used Max for the translation of the conductor gestures into electrical signals for the electromagnet. The driving of the electromagnets were made possible by Interface-Z MIDI - Dimmer electronic gears.