Wired News: Musician Plucks Sound From Lasers
Miya Masaoka is a composer, koto player and inventor of the Laser Koto — a tripod-mounted laser array that she plays by passing her hands through the beams, triggering a variety of sampled and processed sounds from her G4 PowerBook. Each flick of the wrist and twitch of the finger is interpreted as a stroke on the instrument’s virtual strings.
Here is a direct link to Miya Masaoka’s web site.
Interesting. If you click on the above link, there is also a YouTube video of the performer playing her virtual koto. I find it interesting that people are creating these more and more complex interfaces to create music from samples. I appreciate that it has become obvious that it is not fun to make music using a laptop keyboard. The keyboard may not be capable of translating the subtleties that handmovements are capable of. On the other hand, I find such pleasure in playing the actual strings and touching the wood of my guitar that I would never switch to a virtual laser guitar…
At some point we may well have these choices: a real French Burgundy, made from real grapes, fermented in real barrels, and crafted by real hands versus a nano copy of a great Burgundy. The look, smell and taste may very well be identical – but some occassions will, at least for me, call for the former. Or, a guitarist playing his guitar versus a software program creating music using perfect samples. Will we all instinctively feel the difference? Will we sense the human interaction, the work, the sweat, the living spirit? I mean, the creators of the guitar-software or the particular wine-replicating nano technology have put their spirit into their work – but that is different from the winemaker walking through the fields to find the perfect time for the harvest, mixing the grapes, testing and tasting the fermenting wine etc… or is it?