Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie MIDI, MAX, LIVE 8 Bikinis

A little while back, we posted about this new body paint called Bare Conductive, a type of skin-safe ink that conducts electricity. When the ink on the body comes in contact with a sensor, it closes a circuit. It can be programmed to trigger a sound or some sort of lighting effect.

Well, it was only a matter of time until somebody figured out a saucy little way to apply this interactive technology, and that guy is Scottish electronic musician Calvin Harris. In this video, he premieres a version of his latest single, “Ready for the Weekend,” on what he calls “a unique human synthesizer.”

The video’s description reads: “The instrument consists of 34 pads on the floor which have been painted with the conductive ink and connected to a computer via some clever custom electronics. The performers stand on the pads, and touch hands to complete a circuit and trigger a sound. Different combinations of pads trigger the different sounds needed to play the track.”

Matt Johnson created the custom pads and electronics for the project, using two Arduinos and Max/MSP. The pads, the performers, the body ink, electronic boards, and software create this moving, breathing MIDI controller that makes the music, which is sequenced by Ableton LIVE.

The project is a collaboration between Calvin Harris and students from the Royal College of Art’s Industrial Design Engineering department.

As my brother just remarked, “Either this is really weird and cool…or just an excuse to slap girls in bikinis.”

– Jocelyn

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