Danielle Wilde describes her latest project, the hipDisk, as being possibly the most undignified musical instrument ever. hipDisk exploits changing relationships between torso and hip to actuate sound. Video 1 and 2.
Simple horizontal disk-shaped extensions of the body exaggerate the interdependent relationship of the hip and torso. Soft switches, strategically placed around the perimeter of each disk, allow the wearer to play a chromatic scale, and thus simple melodies, restricted only by flexibility and speed of swing.
In creating hipDisk, the interest was to move beyond limb- and digit-triggered switches and explore full-body movement for actuation.
Ultimately, three iterations of hipDisk will be developed so that a small orchestra of hipDisked women can play chord structures together, or harmonize and so accompany voice or another solo performer/player. A version of the instrument may also be developed for men. Yes, please, please Danielle, do make a version for lads!
Danielle lists in her paper (PDF) the various projects that hipDisk builds upon and relates to. Here are just a few of them:
– the interface is related to Kei Kagami‘s Head Holder (2006), a dress that explores dynamic structures by means of rods and strings that cause exaggerated movement of the garment by the motion of the model or wearer,
– the output of hipDisk is related to Danielle’s previous work Ange, which allows the player to trigger sound samples and control volume, so mix up to 24 samples in real-time, simply by manipulating their volume,
– the input/output relationship is also simple and direct, the tones triggered through core-body gesture, allowing us to make a correlation to physical interfaces like Dance Dance Revolution.