The Wonder Suit

The Wonder Suit
  • Date: February 21, 2014
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The Wonder Suit is not a suit of clothes, but an invention of mine, engineered by Michael Clemow, made up of a set of wireless sensors that are strapped onto the body and piano bench, and used to trigger various processes on a live mic feed from an acoustic resonating body, usually a piano, into my computer.

testing the system prototype #1 with Amy Khoshbin

The live feed is routed via proprietary software through Osculator to Kyma. But really any sound software that is capable of receiving the message would work. The beauty of the sensors is that anyone can strap them on and have the sensation of altering a live acoustic sound. That visceral, direct connection to how motion translates into emotion through sound is experiential proof that is at once fun and thrilling.

wONDERsUIT_2011 prototype #2 in action at IBeam Brooklyn 1/7/12

The work that I make with the Wonder Suit incorporates choreographed movement that initiates the electronic processes. I was inspired to create the Wonder Suit because I was already making work that incorporated choreographed movement into my solo piano pieces – see A Sleeper’s Notebook. I am a self-titled choreographic pianist.  I have also created several works for choreographed ensembles and several years ago began to add electronics. While practicing for an upcoming performance, I had the thought that it would be interesting if the movements actually had some perceivable impact on the acoustic sound of the piano, my instrument of choice. Since that time, I have worked through two prototypes and we will soon be ready to make the finished product.

Perf 1_031314 with the new wrist sensor at The Old Stone House in Brooklyn 3.15.14