Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 8, 2011.

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Open-source wearable instruments that allow people to create real music through pantomime.

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:

For all your support now and to come ...thanks so much!

Scott and the Imaginary Marching Band

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    36 backers

    A Good Cause: All contributors of $10 or greater get their name on a list of contributors at www.imaginarymarchingband.com.

  • Pledge $20 or more
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    25 backers

    DIY: Advanced access to source code and videos on creating your own imaginary instruments for all contributors of $20 or greater.

  • Pledge $75 or more
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    19 backers

    DIY For REAL: Get all the parts and instructions for making your very own Imaginary Trumpet. All you have to do is assemble.

  • Pledge $150 or more
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    5 backers

    Your Own Imaginary Instrument: Get your very own Imaginary Trumpet, Tuba, or Cymbals. These models will differ from any eventual retail versions, so this is your only chance to own one of the original instruments. Plus, contributors of $150 or greater get listed as an Angel Donor.

  • Pledge $200 or more
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    5 backers

    Your Own Imaginary Instrument: Get your very own Imaginary Drum or Trombone. These models will differ from any eventual retail versions, so this is your only chance to own one of the original instruments. Plus, contributors of $150 or greater get listed as an Angel Donor.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers

    Go Team!: Get your choice of two Imaginary Instruments in the colors of your choice (picture your next tailgate, rocking your school's fight song with with one-of-a-kind robo-gloves in your team’s colors).

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    The Finish Line: For the last 48 hours, we're offering a limited number of VERY special gloves - 1 glove, all 6 instruments! This is not something I plan on doing with the project long term, but would love to as a very special opportunity to bring this fundraise home. Of course, if you have already pledged $500 I'll gladly create one of these gloves for you in place of the existing reward, and if you have pledged $1000 we can do two of these special gloves, or one special and any three others, or you can stick with the full set of six you originally pledged for.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    3 backers

    The Complete Set: A complete set of all six instruments, produced in the colors of your choosing. Plus, get your name listed as Producer at www.imaginarymarchingband.com

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    0 backers

    The Imaginary Experience: A complete set of instruments plus a live concert by the Imaginary Marching Band for you and your friends, family, or company. Plus, get your name listed as Executive Producer at www.imaginarymarchingband.com.

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