Good news for air guitarists out there or for percussionists who can’t help but banging their fingers on tables: now you have a new amazing way of expressing yourself musically. Everywhere.
The Italian Bruno Zambrolin created Mogees in collaboration with Norbert Schnell and Frederic Bevilacqua as part of his joint PhD in Arts and Computational Technologies between IRCAM/Centre Pompidou in Paris and Goldsmiths, University of London.
Mogees (abbreviation of “Mosaicing Gestural Surface”) is a project that uses microphones to turn any surface into an interactive board, which associates different gestures with different sounds.
As you have seen, simple gestures like scratching, rubbing or tapping can produce a surprising array of sounds worthy of a serious experimental music set up.
Different gestures may be added to Mogees, which can also recognize the difference between fingers and objects such as coins.
As you interact with any kind of rigid surface (be it a tree, a table, a cupboard, a mirror or a piece of glass), the contact microphone attached to it picks up the resultant vibrations, which are then either converted directly into audible sound or used as input for selecting a matching audio sample from a database.What’s really interesting is that you also aren’t constrained to perfectly smooth surfaces (as you have seen, you can play a tree).
The project isn’t commercially available (yet?) but it looks like in the future we won’t even need an instrument to play: the whole world will be our instrument.