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Tim Thompson's Space Palette at The Tech Museum of Innovation REBOOT:Music Exhibit in San Jose

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The Tech Museum  of Innovation in San Jose has kicked off a 6-month exhibit called REBOOT:music. The exhibit includes the latest version Tim Thompson’s Kinect-based Space Palette which is a musical and graphical instrument that lets you play music and paint visuals simultaneously by waving your hands in the holes of a wood frame.

Here is a video of Tim explaining the instrument.

It’s great to see how far Tim has taken the Space Palette since I first interviewed him back in 2011 on his work in this area.

In all there are 16 installations at this exhibit.

Unleash your inner music-maker at The Tech’s new exhibition, here for a limited engagement March 7 – August 17, 2014. Explore what it means to make music in the digital age. Interact, and inspire your creative spirit with the help of more than a dozen imaginative new musical instruments. 

Exhibition Highlights 

  • 16 installations by renowned artists that allow you to collaborate and explore the boundaries of music making.
  • Red Hot and Sympathetic Resonance, two large-scale, electro-acoustic experiences bring a technological twist to familiar acoustic instruments.
  • The multi-player ConnecTable invites spontaneous jam sessions with friends and strangers alike – no rehearsal necessary!
  • The Space Palette puts futuristic soundscapes at participants’ fingertips – literally. 
  • Stepping Tones’ immersive projection mapped environment lets participants create and visualize beats by hand.
  • The Laser Harp Alembic surrounds visitors with an orchestra of sounds, each just a pluck of the air away.
  • …and many more. 

In addition to the installations, the museum will host talks and workshops from artists, musicians, instrument builders, and creative tech luminaries to provide opportunities for deeper exploration and hands-on learning. And, for guests over 21, two evening concert events will bring together the best cutting-edge live music performers from all over the world. Stay tuned for details.

 

For more details on Tim’s work as well as links to more videos of the Space Palette in action visit Tim’s Official Space Palette Site . For more information on this exhibit, visit the REBOOT: Music Web Page.

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Mark Mosher
Boulder, CO
www.MarkMosherMusic.com

<<< Checkout my new album Fear Cannot Save Us


My First Solo Flight with Space Palette Kinect-Controller

My First Solo Flight with Space Palette from Mark Mosher on Vimeo.

Tim Thompson flew out from San Jose to present on his Space Palette kinect-based casual instrument this week Boulder Synthesizer Meetup (meetup.com/The-Boulder-Synthesizer-Meetup) on Nov 13th, 2012.

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The big news for me is he gave me a Space Palette frame! He actually came in a before the meetup and stayed to configure my system with his custom code and all the dependent parts and taught me how to launch, calibrate and customize.

After he flew home, I tore the system down and put it all back together and got it all running on my own :^). I then swapped out the audio instruments behind the scenes with Absynth patches to make my first solo performance. I shot this video while holding the camera behind the frame as I played. All audio and visuals are interactive and in response to the Kinect tracking my multi-touch movement (X,Y, Depth) through the various windows in the frame.

More here SpacePalette.com

SYNTHESIST MARK MOSHER, Boulder, CO 
Artist Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Show your Support with an Album buy: http://markmosher.bandcamp.com/
Synth Geek Blog: www.ModulateThis.com
Local Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/The-Boulder-Synthesizer-Meetup/


Update on Tim Thompson's Kinect Space Palette + Burning Man 2012 Video

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Back in April of 2011 I posted “An Exclusive First Look at Tim Thompson's Kinect-Based Instrument”.  I got to hang out with Tim at the Guthman Instrument Competition at Georgia Tech in February and did a follow up post on his progress in April of this year, It’s been cool to see Space Palette evolve.

I spoke with Tim earlier this week via Skype to get an update. First off, here is some background in case this is the first time your hearing about the project.

What is the Space Palette?

The Space Palette is a musical and graphical instrument that lets you play music and paint visuals simultaneously by waving your hands in the holes of a wood frame. No pre-recorded media, sequences, or loops are used - everything is generated in realtime by your hands.

The wood frame is a reference for the player, while the Microsoft Kinect is used to detect the position of whatever hands (or objects) appear in the holes of the frame. The depth of your hands matters as much as their left/right/up/down position - it's like having multiple three-dimensional mouse pads in mid-air. Any number of hands can be used.

Musically, the large holes are like keyboards (left-to-right) on which you play individual notes, and hand depth controls things like vibrato and filters. Visually, the large holes allow you to paint with graphical shapes (heavily processed by visual effects), and hand depth controls their size.

The 12 small holes in the corners of the Space Palette are used to select different sets of sounds and graphics. Each of the 4 large holes plays a different sound and paints a different graphic, simultaneously.

Update

It ends up Tim brought the Space Palette to Burning Man again this year. Checkout this great video of Burning Man attendees playing the latest incarnation of the instrument. Here is what Tim had to say about the latest version of Space Palette:

This video shows the latest version of the Space Palette at Burning Man 2012. It was running every night from 9pm to 5am, with almost constant use because of its placement in Illumination Village (Esplanade and 2:15). I re-used pieces of Monolith 2.0 (my installation from 2009) to construct a wood projector screen designed to withstand high winds, and I built boxes to protect the projector and laptop from the dust.

The sounds and graphics were much improved from previous versions, and the user interface was simplified. All 12 of the small holes now do the same thing - each one selects a preset of both sounds and graphics, and the name of the preset is briefly displayed on the projected image to provide feedback.

The preset names made it easier for people to find the sounds they wanted to use. Headphones were provided, allowing people to hear the sounds more clearly. All in all, it performed extremely well, and people enjoyed it immensely.

House Performance

Here is another video I found of Tim playing Space Palette. There is more ambient light in the room so it’s easier to see how the instrument works.

More Info
A longer version of the video above can be found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxn2K3_07nU . For more information about the Space Palette, visit http://spacepalette.com.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html
www.ModulateThis.com


An Update on Tim Thompson's Space Palette Kinect-Based Instrument Including Video from STEIM

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I first met Tim Thompson last Spring when I performed in Sunnyvale. He invited me over for an An “Exclusive First Look at Tim Thompson's Kinect-Based Instrument: MultiMultiTouchTouch”. Since then we’ve kept in touch and he’s made incredible progress on this three-dimensional instrument so I thought I'd do an update post.

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Now called Space Palette, it offers more windows of control and expressiveness and also has interactive visuals that react to gestures. Space Palette’s design makes it a fantastic casual instrument allowing for walk-up players. Tim has been spreading electronic musical joy by bringing it to events such as:

I got to play an updated version of Space Palette when Tim and I were in Atlanta in February. It’s expressive enough to scale beyond casual play and Tim has become quite a virtuoso with it as can be seen in his latest performance at STEIM in Amsterdam below.

Watch embedded video.

I encourage you to visit http://spacepalette.com and http://timthompson.com/ to follow Tim’s progress.

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist, Boulder, CO
Official Web Site: www.MarkMosherMusic.com
Listen/Download Albums: www.MarkMosherMusic.com/music.html
www.ModulateThis.com


An Exclusive First Look at Tim Thompson's Kinect-Based Instrument: MultiMultiTouchTouch

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Tim Thompson is a software engineer, musician, and installation artist. He was recently mentioned in Roger Linn’s post “Research Project: LinnStrument -- A New Musical Instrument Concept where Roger credits Tim with writing a program that “translates the TouchCo's proprietary USB messages into TUIO messages sent over OSC.”

I met Tim at my recent concert at the Art Institute of California/Sunnyvale and he was kind enough to invite me over to see his latest development project, the MultiMultiTouchTouch. This custom solution offers players any number of arbitrarily-shaped multitouch areas with three-dimensional spatial control. Interaction with this space allows users to control and play virtual synthesizers using nothing but a Microsoft Kinect as the controller.

Ironically, the concept shown in Moog Music’s April Fools video “Introducing the Moog Polyphonic Theremin” is not only a reality, but Tim has one-upped this idea by providing polyphonic spatial control in multiple “frames”, AND more granular control than a Theremin with finger blob detection. In short MultiMultiTouchTouch is like having a polyphonic/multitimbral Theremin that can not only detect hand movements, but finger movements as well - from multiple players!!!

Luckily I brought my video camera along and recorded Tim describing and demoing the technology. I also give the MultiMultiTouchTouch a try at the end of the video. So, without further ado, I present the video “An Exclusive First Look at Tim Thompson's Kinect-Based Instrument: MultiMultiTouchTouch”

Watch embedded video in HD

An Exclusive First Look at Tim Thompson’s Kinect-Based: MultiMultiTouchTouch

Components
In summary, Tim developed with the following components:

The raw output of this controller is OSC messages formatted using the TUIO (multitouch) standard format. Parameters of the software can be controlled with JSON-formatted messages.

Events
If you're near Silicon Valley, you can play with this controller on April 10 at the Stanford DIY Musical Instrument Tailgate Party , or at the Kinect Hackathon at Hacker Dojo. Tim will also be using it in installations at Lightning In a Bottle and Burning Man this year.

Pass It On
I want to reiterate, this is real and NOT a late April Fool’s joke. Incredible work Tim! Congrats. I can’t wait to see where Tim takes this and look forward to the possibility of doing some MultiMultiTouchTouch compositions and performances myself. To help Tim promote his work share this video.

Links

 

Mark Mosher
Electronic Music Artist & Synthesist, Boulder, CO
www.markmoshermusic.com
www.modulatethis.com