The Rail Bow and the Ambiox are new electronic musical instruments currently in development at the Music Technology: Interaction, Intelligence & Design program at California Institute of the Arts. This video is an edited capture of their concert debut.
The Rail Bow uses shielded infrared sensors at the ends of a track, a handle assembly with a grip sensor, and contact mics affixed to return mechanisms in order to send data to the host computer about the handle's position, direction, and speed, whether or not a collision against the end of the track has occurred, and how hard the player is squeezing the handle. This data is then translated into various instrumental modes that were specially created for use with the Rail Bow, which are switchable with an onboard rotary dial. The device is powered by an Arduino Duemilanove and will eventually become fully MIDI/OSC-compliant.
The Ambiox began as an experiment with RGB LEDs, started outside of being an instrument entirely. Over the year it evolved into an evocative symbiosis of ambient music and color feedback.
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