Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Tangible Music

PostedFebruary 16, 2014

Download File (mp3)

Anchor Lead: A recently graduated engineering student is creating a new musical instrument...that, well, looks like the instrument is missing.

Randy Atkins: It almost looks like magic. Music created by simply moving your hands through the air.

Ray Li: We wanted to allow the musician to touch sound as if it were like a tangible thing.

Randy Atkins: Ray Li, a recent Cornell University engineering grad is developing gloves with sewn-in motion-tracking devices.

Ray Li: If the musician moves their hands apart, it makes the sound bigger, as if it were between the hands and you were like growing it.

Randy Atkins: Or close your fist and the sound is muffled. Data from the gloves…

Ray Li: What we’re using right now is a magnetic motion-tracker that’s actually developed for medical technologies.

Randy Atkins: …is transmitted to a computer where music software translates motion into music. With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP News.

Anchor Tag: The technology is still being developed for its premier at a concert this spring.