The Imaginary Marching Band is a series of open-source wearable instruments that allow people to create real music through pantomime.
The Imaginary Trumpet
With this work, I seek to advocate a more humorous and humane take on the devices that increasingly rule our daily lives. Although the computers we now carry with us wherever we go seem to draw us further and further into digital cocoons, I strongly believe as an artist that the future does not have to be so isolating.
The Imaginary Marching Band proposes a reality where technology helps us interact with the real world in more memorable, unique, and ultimately fun ways. It is also a performance piece - an actual band of skilled musicians who will use these new tools to craft a one-of-a-kind stage experience.
The IMB consists of six Imaginary Instruments - Trumpet, Trombone, Tuba, Snare Drum, Bass Drum, and Cymbals. All six mirror the functionality of their real world counterparts, and can reproduce their full range of notes using MIDI data output from the gloves via USB. This allows them to be used with any audio editing software, from Garageband to Logic to Pro Tools.
Early Prototype of Imaginary Trumpet
The Imaginary Marching Band's software and hardware are both open source. Why?
Our goal is to encourage others to experiment within this area of design: the creation of invisible interfaces that perfectly mimic their "real" counterparts. In so doing, we hope to inspire a sense of play and to enhance - rather than diminish - the creative experience of virtuality.
Hardware development is difficult, and doing it completely open-source is even harder. Your contributions will be not only be used for the supplies and labor needed to create copies of these existing gloves. They will also fund the search for:
- embedded soft circuits using conductive materials to create a truly "imaginary" instrument
- wireless controls which allow the gloves to sync with speakers and mobile devices without bulky cables
- performances at Ars Nova in New York City, the Ambience '11 Festival at the University of Boras - Sweden, and other events featuring professional musicians
Your generous Kickstarter contribution funds this exciting work, while keeping our discoveries free and available to all. Every pledge counts - we can't do it without you!
Technical Drawings of Six Sensors Used to Construct the IMB
Imaginary Marching Band Cymbal Player Barbara McLean (aka my mom...)
Learn more about the inspiration, process, and technology behind this project - and check out the new videos added every week and follow the Band's tour schedule - at ImaginaryMarchingBand.
We have been honored by the following:
- Kickstarter Project of the Day (May 25)
- Rhizome.org Featured Project
For all your support now and to come ...thanks so much!
Scott and the Imaginary Marching Band
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