47. The Pipes are Calling

NIMES, live coding, spectator interfaces, music for the unborn baby and Carolan jams with a set of digital bagpipes

Carolan Guitar

A second installment from the New Instruments for Musical Expression (NIME) conference in Baton Rouge …

Compared to a traditional acoustic guitar such as Carolan, NIMEs are an unusual bunch, mixing physical controllers, with sensors, actuators and software to create highly innovative instruments. NIMEs range from traditional instruments that are augmented with digital technologies to radical, bespoke and often highly personalized instruments.

A lovely aspect of the conference is balancing a programme of concerts with a program of academic talks so that we get to see many NIMEs in action as well as learn about how they are put together.

There diannediantenne_2-3is Dianne Verdonk’s La Diantenne 2.0, a beautiful a harp-like instrument fashioned from tin plate that uses a contact microphone to produce sound in response to flexing, touching, stroking and percussive striking. Dianne’s paper explains how the instrument is also designed with the visual aspects of performance in mind. We’re struck by how her…

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45. Geert, Claire and Dylan

Carolan Guitar

Carolan has left the country of its birth, crossing the border into Wales to spend a week living, composing and recording with Geert and his collaborators Claire and Dylan. Deepest thanks to Geert for putting Carolan through its paces and for such a monumental effort in documenting and blogging Carolan’s visit. We’re very happy to hand over to him …

Alan Chamberlain had mentioned that guitar a couple of times already. Something special, he promised. I couldn’t get a clear picture of what he was talking about, but I was quite willing to wait and to see. Yes, sometime – soon perhaps – he would ask me to try out a new kind of guitar some people had been developing. Exciting! My patience was rewarded, because evening time on 7 May, he came round, carrying a bulky guitar-case and a bag or two. This, he said, was the Carolan Guitar and its travel entourage…

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