Conducting A 4-Story Pipe Organ With A Kinect

<p>Composer Chris Vik controls an ancient instrument via Kinect.</p>

The pipe organ is an ancient instrument of which variants have been in use since the third century BC, essentially remaining the same through the ages. That’s why it was such a big deal when Melbourne, Australia’s Town Hall Organ got a MIDI upgrade, particularly for composer Chris Vik.

The MIDI compatibility allowed Vik to connect his Kinect (Whoa! I just got that) to the four-story-tall instrument, making it possible for him to play the organ using physical gestures. As he says, “You can imagine I was pretty excited when I heard the Town Hall Organ could be controlled by MIDI because it meant that i could use my Kinect system to use gesture in a similar to way to how a conductor would conduct an orchestra—I could conduct the organ.”

And sure enough, it was only a matter of time before Vik was positioning his limbs in a compositional dance, controlling the melodies piping out of the organ. Assisted by masked female vocalist Elise Richards, Vik’s piece has a traditional feel, though there’s nothing traditional about how he created it. Tuxedos were definitely not built for this range of movement, but the ever-talented Vik delivers a riveting physical and musical performance regardless.


[via Create Digital Music]