The hipDisk

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.

Also by Danielle Wilde: the periscope, the musical ribcage and the Dress.