Hacked Human Orchestra

MzTEK joins forces with Guerilla Science and Kobakant to produce a series of wearable musical designs for workshops in London and at UK festivals this Summer 2012!

“Together we are transforming rags to riches, blending soft fabric electronics with creative technologists to produce a mobile electronic human orchestra.”

Events

News

Hacked Human Orchestra Video Now Online!

After a lot of considerable hard work by the wonderful Florian Lunaire, the musician that we’ve been working with on the Hacked Human Orchestra project, there is an amazing sound piece online that was created with input from all our participants at Wilderness and Shambala:

We hope that you enjoy it and we’d like to thank Guerilla Science for making this all possible – they’ve been an amazing group of people to work with on the project :)

Another big thank you to  Lush Projects, Jamie Allen and Jo Kazuhiro for helping us with the circuits, to Kobakant for working so closely with us on the design of the instruments and a HUGE thank you to PhD student Shauna Concannon for becoming part of the MzTEK team for the Summer – you’ve been awesome!

You can again watch a film by Debbie Davies, depicting the first workshop which we ran for the project back in June, at our home The Centre for Creative Collaboration, and there is an article by Shauna Concannon about her experience of working on the project here. We’ll have all the learning materials up on our website soon.

Hacked Human Orchestra has been generously sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

MzTEK at Shambala 2012

Last weekend was not just the very much needed August bank holiday, it was also our last workshop for the Hacked Human Orchestra project *sob*! The workshop took place at the absolutely lovely Shambala Festival in  Northamptonshire, which prides itself as being a ‘..space to play, to reinvent and revitalise…’. We couldn’t agree more :)

With us were our awesome collaborators on the project, Guerilla Science, PhD student Shauna Concannon and Hannah Perner-Wilson from Kobakant. It was a pleasure to have Hannah with us as Kobakant have been an inspiration to us throughout the project and have helped us along the way with the design of the wearable instruments.

Like Wilderness Festival a couple of weeks ago, participants at the workshop made wearable pianos:

Beatbox machines:

And a new screech instrument!:

The latter we are VERY proud of, as for it we designed our first PCB:

Like at Wilderness, after finishing their instrument each participant went and played it for composer Florian Lunaire who is creating a track from all the sound samples he took. We can’t wait to hear it and when it’s finished you’ll be able to listen to it on our website. We will also be releasing all the learning materials from the project on our Workshop Material page.

We would like to thank a number of people for helping us with the project; Lush Projects for helping us with the piano instrument as Iain very kindly provided us with the circuit diagram for it, the Royal Academy of Engineering for supporting the project and Jamie Allen and Jo Kazuhiro for letting us use their circuit from the Chiptune Marching Band project for our screech instrument.

For more images from the Shambala workshop, please see our Flickr stream.

Hacked Human Orchestra at Wilderness Festival

Last weekend MzTEK was joined by Guerilla Science and PhD student Shauna Concannon  in bringing the Hacked Human Orchestra project to Wilderness Festival!

This was the second workshop of the series, in which participants made wearable pianos and human beatbox machines! The piano instrument was a direct follow on from our last workshop at the Centre for Creative Collaboration  where participants created the initial circuit to be embedded into people’s clothing at the festival. Using this, participants at Wilderness carried the circuit around their T-shirt using conductive thread/fabric and adorned it with sticky felt to keep the circuit in place. For the human beatbox machine, participants hacked existing re-recordable devices and re-placed them on their clothing, using the same technique as the piano makers by using conductive thread/fabric with sticky felt (we love the stuff!) to carry the circuit round. Once finished, they all went into our amazing recording studio to play their instruments and be recording by our awesome composer, Florian Lunaire.

Below are some lovely pictures of the workshop, taken by Zoe and Louis from Guerilla Science. More can be found on their Flickr stream.

 One of the piano tops with the already made circuit on the back.

Testing a beatbox T-shirt.

Sticking down the remainder of the piano circuit with sticky felt. 

 Sewing in the re-recordable device for the beatbox T-shirt.

Sophie demonstrating her own piano T-shirt.

Our awesome participants playing their instruments whilst being recorded in the studio.

There is still one more workshop left for Hacked Human Orchestra! It is taking place at Shambala Festival during the August bank holiday weekend and will be running on the Saturday (25th). If you would like to attend the festival you can buy tickets here.

This event was supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering. Also a big THANK YOU to Kobakant and Lush Projects for helping us with the design of the circuits/instruments.

Pianos, Pompoms and Dino-spikes – Our First Hacked Human Orchestra Workshop!

Last Saturday we hosted with Guerilla Science the first installment of the Hacked Human Orchestra workshops at our lovely home, The Centre for Creative Collaboration. We’ve been very lucky to work with Shauna Concannon, who is studying for her PhD at Queen Mary, and Kobakant (Mika Satomi and Hannah Perner-Wilson) both of whom have been working with us on developing the workshop.

Our wonderful participants stitched an elaborate soft circuit which will power a wearable piano and also made sensors including soft circuit pompoms, french chains, buttons (or keys) for the piano and even dino-style spikes!

Soft circuit for a wearable piano

Dino spike which closes a circuit when squeezed!

Soft circuit pompom, made with conductive and non conductive yarn, good to use as a tilt switch.

Learning about the circuit for the wearable piano.

Testing the circuit with a button/piano key made from conductive fabric, felt and foam.

The Hacked Human Orchestra workshop space.

The next stage is to take the project to Shambala and Wilderness festivals where festival-goers will add to the circuits made in last weeks workshop, creating a wearable piano, and also work on more instruments as well. The result will be a walking, soft circuit orchestra which will be lead by composer Florian Lunaire.

Our presentation and the learning materials from the workshop can  downloaded here and you can find more images from the day on Flickr. A great video of the day, created by Debbie Davies is below:


This project is generously being supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering.