Human Harp Makes Music by Dancing on the Brooklyn Bridge
A melding of a human and the Brooklyn Bridge has become a new kind of instrument, called a "Movician." In a collaboration with Centre for Digital Music and Media Arts & Technology, Queen Mary University London musician Di Mainstone has invented a body suit that takes advantage of the vibrations in architectural structures to create audible music.
[Credit: New Scientist]
Mainstone was inspired to create this new type of instrument while she lived in New York City and admired the Brooklyn Bridge: "I wondered whether there was a way to capture the vibrations that go through cables triggered by walking, traffic and wind." The body suit, which includes retractable cables attached to the body, combines the art of dance with the creation of music, as the movements trigger sensors that measure the vibrations. As the frequencies aren't audible to the human ear, the sensors transmit that data to digital software that, in turn, converts the data into sound.
The prototype used in the above video was an early version, and as a result was not yet able to completely capture the sounds of the bridge. So representative sounds were chosen, which were then modified by the sound of the strings. Later, Mainstone and her team were able to record the bridge's vibrations, which was described as a "strange droning sound that included some harmonies." "It was magical and beautiful," said Mainstone.
The newest version will be played at the Roundhouse in London, a circular performing arts venue that was once used for a railway. The device will harness the vibrations from the building's beams by strategically placing tiny hammers on them, making the instrument comparable to a human piano. The event will take place from August 21-24.
Via New Scientist