In the Press: Russ Maschmeyer in The New York Times

July 25, 2011

Alumnus Russ Maschmeyer (MFA 2011 Interaction Design) was featured in The New York Times recently for his creation of Motiv, an open source computer application that uses a hacked Microsoft Kinect game controller to allow physical gestures to be expressed musically in real time. “Traditional instruments are really, really complex,” he told the Times. “Not only do you need to know how to produce a note, but know how to produce them rapidly in sequence. To be a master musician, you’ve got to be able to pull off all of the micromovements necessary for it to be an expressive performance.”

That’s not the case with Motiv. On Maschmeyer’s device, Kinect’s cameras follow body movement and translate that information into notes, which allow users to direct sequenced music—the timing, note volume, and instrumental layering—with the simple wave of the hand or twirl of the torso. Maschmeyer sees this as the future of digital music, something that lets laptop musicians inject more emotional expression into their work.

Read the full article at The New York Times. Watch a demonstration of Motiv below.

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