• Motion Origami Guitar

Motion Origami Guitar

augmented music instrument with Leap Motion

The Motion Origami Guitar is an augmented music instrument with Leap Motion sensor. The sensor becomes an integral part of the acoustic guitar and explores novel addition to otherwise classic guitar hardware. The performance with the Leap Motion sensor also shifts the guitar playing paradigma and shows new interaction and composition strategies in the realm of the otherwise well established music instrument.

The novelty of the Motion Origami Guitar prototype is not in addressing a particular technical solution, but rather in showcasing new performance and compositional strategies emerging in the realm of the otherwise well known and established music instrument.
The main objective is a designed music experience, where coding, composition and performance are all integral parts of the creative process.

The original name of the project, Motion Origami, comes from the idea of 'folding' sounds with the hand gestures into new soundscapes – in the process new original music ideas and sound sculptures emerge from simple movements, as this is true for the ancient Japanese art of paper origami.

Motion Origami project is focused on exploring the possibilities of hand gestures in the music performance. The sensor of choice, the Leap Motion controller, provides a perfect interface for the physical gesture interaction with the live sound of a guitar. In fact, you have to learn how to operate the interface, as you learn to play a new music instrument and gain a new virtuosity as a regular music instrument player.

The idea behind this project is to create musically attractive interface, which enables to extract and compose new music themes during a live performance using the hand gestures and augmenting existing music instrument.

The current Motion Origami Guitar patch is built in MAX/MSP and enables multi-vector interaction within the signal processing domain. The main patch element is the sogs~ (Smooth Overlap Granular Synthesis) object by Norbert Schnell (IRCAM). The Motion Origami Guitar patch recognizes various gestures, which are mapped to actual audio processing and spatialization techniques. During the performance the player controls grain position and it’s respective size by hand gestures. The actual buffer contains fragments of live guitar sound and provides a raw material for the granular synthesis process.

Le Terroire
[performance & composition]

This piece explores the main concept behind the original Motion Origami project – building a sonic sculptures with hand gestures during a live performance.

The name of the piece, Le Terroire, reflects the way the new textures and musical phrases originate. They are based on the sonic terroire, so to speak a fertile ground, which is made of the original live guitar sound and re-assembled on the fly by the means of the well know process of granular synthesis.

The piece makes use of introducing a fragile sonic elements into the guitar composition themes. Those sonic elements and further building blocks of the performed piece are built and sculpted by the actual hand movements of the player. In other words the piece is built around a play with the accented miniature textures of acoustic guitar sounds and phrases as they overlap with the direct live sound of the instrument itself.

credits and realization details

The first iteration of the project, the Motion Origami, originated at the Academy of Preforming Arts in Prague as part of the project Sensors as musical instruments curated by Michal Rataj. With the support of the Institutional Endowment for the Long Term Conceptual Development of Research Institutes, as provided by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports of the Czech Republic in the year 2014.