Development in music is an ongoing thing and I personally love to see the different ways the people can improve something or simply make something cool. I have a personal attachment to weird and unconventional music and music methodology, so when I came across Imogen Heap’s MI.MU gloves (pronounced: ME-moo) I was captivated by what it could do.
To start off, MI.MU is an open source hardware/software that’s shaped like a glove and is meant for people to make or perform music in a much more organic way. It tracks the position of your hand in real space as well as specific finger positioning and assigns those values to different parameters. Whoa, what the heck does that mean? Well, when you move your hand up or down, you can control the pitch of a sound or when you make a fist and then open your palm it could stop or start a melody. It’s meant to be able to have all kinds of control features in as many ways as you can think.
The way many artists come across music is going to be different between different people, but I have found that between musical artists i’ve met and myself, there is a struggle to try and be “interesting.” To be interesting in music is a difficult task because it not only includes the actual content of the music like instruments or sound effects, but how they’re used and played. When you work in a digital environment, it takes a lot of work to try and program every single note of a melody or bass-line and then make that sound interesting, and then try and make it sound “natural” within the song itself. One way many musical producers combat this is to have MIDI controllers (a device that can take input from something like tapping a piano key and turn it into musical data) and try to twist a knob in a way that sounds like a voice. This is great and the technology has progressed a long way to make it more accurate, but I just find the MI.MU gloves to be so fascinating as a MIDI controller instead because you now have your whole arm as a controller and not a twisting knob.
This kind of technology is also a great way to get a crowd more involved like with Ariana Grandes “Why Try” with the MI.MU gloves.