"Fortissimo," via Kinect


Fortissimo, via Kinect

On May 1, the Seattle Symphony presented the world premiere of Above, Below, and In Between, a composition by kinetic sculptor, sound artist, and composer-in-residence Trimpin. Unique to this performance, conductor Ludovic Morlot directed not only musicians, but also the latest Kinect sensor, which responded to his gestures and translated them into commands for three kinetic instruments: a 24-reedhorn sculpture, a set of concert chimes, and a robotic grand piano.

 The inner workings of the robotic grand piano piqued the curiosity of concertgoers. (credit: Brandon Patoc Photography)

The inner workings of the robotic grand piano piqued the curiosity of concertgoers.
(credit: Brandon Patoc Photography)

The performance took place in the grand lobby of Benaroya Hall, the home of the Seattle Symphony, with the musicians, singers, and the kinetic instruments strategically placed to benefit from the lobby’s architectural and acoustical characteristics. The Kinect sensor was located in front of the conductor’s stand, where it tracked Morlot’s movements and relayed them to the kinetic instruments, allowing the conductor to start and stop the instruments and control their volume with arm and hand gestures.

Although this unique performance was a one-time event, the Kinect sensor and the kinetic instruments remain in Benaroya Hall, where the public can see and interact with them.

The Kinect for Windows Team

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