Some thought this video to be a hoax, a perfect facial choreography moving to the sounds of playbacked music. Many thought it was his face triggering the music. Well it’s not.
The artists behind the electrodes is no other than Daito Manabe, a Japanese music experimentor, DJ and overall media genius who has a thing for using and creating unorthodox outputs “through analyzing and transforming the numerical values gained from a various sensors and input devices”. This basically means that in this case, he’s sending electrical signals that control the contractions, thus the movements, of his face muscles by triggering them with sequenced music (hope I got this right). This is kind of like having a robot playing drums on your face (if robots ever take over, they’ll totally do that to us).
What I find to be very interesting here is that music is the medium, and facial reactions represent the generated art form. At first this experiment can seem somewhat useless only portraying Daito’s ingenious nerdiness, but on the long run I can totally imagine what could come of this.
The first idea that that came to mind was massages. If the technology behind this could be perfected to the point where soothing music and its intricate rhythmic patterns could induce pleasing and relaxing body reactions, well I think that this could probably turn into a pretty big business opportunity. Other than that, maybe music therapy? Electro-therapeutics is a developing branch of medicine who’s methods are disputed but who’s results have proven to be effective – maybe adding music could ameliorate the procedures or contribute to combining both music therapy and electric-shock treatments (again, probably along the lines of something pretty mellow). It definitely has benefits for fitness freaks. People are already using electrodes to automatically stimulate muscles; add a cheesy fitness beat that pumps their abs and they’ll throw their money at you (well maybe:)
Hmmm, if this system were more advanced, to the point where the music could control body parts in a safe way, it could teach how to dance, or at least move to a rythm.
But for now, all I can hope for is that Daito Manabe uploads a video of the same test while listening to Pantera or something similar.
Daito has more in stock than just serving as a meat puppet. He’s also a big fan of using his own body as a stimuli to trigger music and lights. In the video bellow you see him control the sounds with sensors placed on his arms. And since that wasn’t enough he decided to add a magnet on a slider that is also controlled by his arm movements.
As many great music scientists, Daito also uses MAX MSP Jitter for his experimentations.