September 16, 2007

Beat Blocks: Insta-Rhythms From Wooden Blocks

Beat Blocks are an extraordinarily simple interface for a midi controller and rhythm sequencer. The grid represents four measures x four percussion outputs. The stripes on each block represent the beats within each measure. You compose instantly and in real time by placing the blocks on the grid.

And in the time that it took to read this far, you could've gotten exactly how it works by watching the above video performance.

The Belgian art collaborative Boutique Vizique, along with Jeff Hoefs, wanted to explore the idea of turning play into music-making. It's pretty cool, but so far, it's only a prototype. A woodworking gearhead turntablist dad should be able to hack one together for his kid, though, I'd think. Which may just show how little I know about woodworking, gearheading, or turntabling.

Beat Blocks [beatblockscom. via Regine's interview with Boutique Vizique on wmmna]
Related: BV's done kid-friendly projects like Babble, an interactive sound installation and Dustbunnies, which looks like stuffed, disembodied breasts rolling around on the floor. Remember, they're Belgian. []


Oh, how I want one of those for the Savannah Children's Choir! What a fantastic way to teach 16th notes!

Any turntable dads looking for a charitable outlet for their gearheadism?

[it's probably as easy to make two at once...-ed.]

Saw Bjork at the Austin City Limits Music Festival on Friday, and one instrument onstage was this: the Reactable

It's like tactile 3D MacDrums! If the turntable gearhead dads out there are taking orders, I am so in.

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