My previous LookingOutwards example for week 3 would have also fit perfectly for this week’s theme but the Turkish artist, Memo Akten, has many other interesting projects that combine interactivity, music, and smart algorithms. Another of his projects is Webcam Piano 2.0 (2010).
This is a class(-ical) example of creating sound and music through an unconventional means. Users are able to generate beautiful music through an algorithm, made with openFrameworks, that tracks their fingers, hand gestures, and other body movements. The updated 2.0 version introduces additional features including finer, more precise movement tracking and even interpreting the movement to create music that reflects different emotions by playing a different musical mode and changing color scheme. I find this project particularly beautiful, especially the 2.0, because it makes musical expression more accessible to those who may not be classically or technically-trained on the piano, or even in music, yet gives users an outlet to express themselves and their emotions through the fine-tuning of reading their facial expressions or body language.
*Unlike some other of his works, the code for this project is unavailable.