The creation of a new gestural instrument

Recent developments in music technology have allowed us to remap the connection between our bodies and sound. Though music and movement have always been intrinsically linked, the rise of the laptop DJ broke that nexus. At worst, stagecraft has recently been reduced to little more than email checking performances. The idea behind this research is to reconnect music and movement, combining the physicality of acoustic performance with the endless possibilities of digital sound, allowing the plucking of sounds out of thin air. 

Utilising gestural controllers and custom built software, the AirSticks have been developed to  allow the triggering and manipulation of sound and visuals in a 3D playing space. This practice-based research involves further development of the AirSticks as a gestural instrument for live electronic music performance, music education and general health and wellbeing in collaboration with our interdisciplinary team at SensiLab. This can be done through new performances, new software or new hardware. How can we reinvent the connect between our bodies, our ears and our creativity, and what new applications for the AirSticks can be discovered?

Music, design, software and hardware engineering disciplines welcome, ideas for PhD topics open for discussion with supervisors.


Professor Jon McCormack
Dr Alon Ilsar

URLs and Further Reading

Ilsar, A.A., 2018. The AirSticks: a new instrument for live electronic percussion within an ensemble (Doctoral dissertation).


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