In October we visited Queen Mary University of London Centre for Digital Music in east London to try out some new and experimental musical instruments as part of an ongoing research collaboration with the Augmented Instruments Laboratory.
Some of things we tried looked like regular musical instruments but worked in brand new ways, like this piano with touch sensitive keys.
Some of the instruments looked like cool pieces of sculpture, and used patterns of magnets to make strange ambient noises. Every time you change the pattern the sounds change too!
This instrument was called ‘Instrument Sematary’ after a horror book called Pet Sematary by Stephen King, and was created from lots of old musical instruments fixed together. A UV light hung above it to give it a spooky glow whilst it was being played!
We also got to play with Oli and Mazi, two soft and tactile instruments designed to be played by lots of people at the same time. 'Oli' and ‘Mazi’ are Greek words, and when you combine them they translate to ‘All together’!
It was a great, noisy day - we can’t wait for the next one!
Jacob, a PhD student with the Augmented Instruments Laboratory said, “It’s been great working with Heart n Soul as research collaborators, and hosting them at the Centre for Digital Music was a great opportunity to show them all the different kinds of work we do here, and get ideas for new directions we can take our designs. It was really great to see everyone enjoying making some weird and wonderful sounds, and we hope we can keep working together in the future too.”