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Anne Beetem Acker

[MO]

Wireless motion-capture devices and software components that combine to create gesture-operated musical instruments from practically any object. They are the result of a research project at the Institut de Recherce et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) involving NoDesign, a product design firm. The investigators include Nicolas Rasamimanana, Frederic Bevilacqua, Norbert Schnell, Fabrice Guedy, Emmanuel Flety, Come Maestracci, and Bruno Zamborlin of IRCAM and Jean-Louis Frechin and Uros Petrevski of NoDesign. The second generation of MO prototypes was created by DaFact, a MIDI firm based in Paris. The project won first place in the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition in 2012.

The components are designed to enable users to create novel instruments without knowledge of programming, engineering, or electronics. Software components include motion capture, gesture analysis and recognition, and real-time audio processing; these are integrated into Max/MSP (Max signal processing), an interactive data-flow environment for audio, visual, and graphic programming. Examples of desired gestures are recorded by the user for recognition by the system after a single training session. Gestures can be recognized using either discrete triggering or continuous control. Audio processing is provided by a set of synthesis and sound transformation modules that enable recorded sounds to be modified, for example using granular or phase vocoder techniques to alter some sound characteristics while preserving others, such as stretching a sound in time without changing pitch....

Article

Sally Sanford

A form of foot percussion involving rapid stamping and tapping of the heels and toes (shod in a flamenco shoe) in a rhythmic fashion associated with flamenco. The feet are relaxed and most of the work is done by the lower leg, which initiates the movement with a backswing of the foot by bending the knee almost 90° off the floor before dropping the foot down adjacent to the instep of the standing foot. Digs and stamps allow the dancer forward and lateral movement. Digs are executed with a backswing of the foot landing on the ball of the foot slightly behind the standing foot. The stamp (golpe) also begins with a backswing, landing with forward movement as the heel strikes the floor. Modern flamenco shoes (zapatos for women and botas for men) have thick soles and small tacks on both the toe and heel. The heel of the shoe is elevated. Female dancers face the added challenge of executing rapid footwork while wearing a heavy dress with a long train (...