Monday, January 2, 2012

Syncopated Surfing Ring

The syncopated surfing ring is a new experimental platform for exploring interactive music visualization and prototyping rhythm and balance based exergames.  The intention is to develop variations on the drum circle theme, with an essential difference being the inclusion of movement that engages the core muscles and, due to the increased sensory motor stimulation and communication between left and right hemispheres of the brain, promotes neuroplasticity.

Players will create and perform patterns that are expressed as wave-like movements on surfboards* accentuated by the sounds made from various percussion instruments, such as the maracas, shakere, cowbell, claves, tambourine, and bubble drum (such as the "sun drum" shown here, which allows surfers to beat on it, rather than the other way around.)

iPod touches are used to capture accelerometer data that can be analyzed to display relationships between the motions of the riders and acoustic waves generated by various sources, including live or recorded music.

*Note that the "surfboards" used can be any type of balance board, such as the IndoBoard, or as pictured above, simply a bamboo surfboard-shaped cutting board atop a BOSU.

The video below shows how a loop-based percussion pattern can be played by all the members of a syncopated surfing ring. The pattern comes from the Native Instruments Discovery Series West Africa.