Seattle Symphony Debuts New Work For Orchestra & Kinect-Controlled Music Robots

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The Seattle Symphony (Music Director Ludovic Morlot) recently premiered Above, Below, and In Between, a commission and site-specific composition by sculptor, sound artist and composer Trimpin.

Above, Below, and In Between is a sculpture and musical composition for small orchestra, soprano voice, prepared piano, kinetic instruments and gesture-controlled conducting.

The piece was created in partnership with Microsoft. Here’s the official video overview: Continue reading

Nagual Dance Uses Kinect To Translate Movement Into Music

Berlin-based Nagual Sounds has developed a new gestural musical instrument, Nagual Dance, based on the Microsoft Kinect.

The system is based on two main components:

  • Control data – from sensors, cameras, files and all kinds of sources – is used to turn gestures and movement into sounds; and
  • The Soundscape -an interactive piece of music that doesn’t consist of pre-recorded musical sequences, but of musical possibilities. The music decides the behavior of the used data source.

In the example above, a Kinect camera is used by Nagual Dance to control the Soundscape ‘Firedance’.

Here’s how it works: Continue reading

Can The New 12″ Microsoft Surface 3 Replace Both Your Tablet And Your Laptop?

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Microsoft today introduced the Surface Pro 3 — a lightweight tablet that they want to replace both your tablet and your laptop.

With the Surface Pro line, Microsoft has been trying to convince buyers that its ‘best of both worlds’ approach to hybrid tablets makes more sense than the Apple’s approach, creating best-in-class, dedicated tablet and laptop devices. Microsoft positions the Surface Pro 3 as a tablet + laptop that’s more powerful than an iPad and lighter than an MacBook Air:

Multiple processor, RAM and storage options intersect with a sleek design that, with a simple snap or click, transform the device from a perfectly balanced tablet to a full-functioning laptop and back again – all in a beautiful package that is 30 percent thinner than an 11-inch MacBook Air.

Its stunning 12-inch display and new, continuous kickstand provide the screen real estate and multiple viewing angles people need for work and play. And the new Surface Pen – completely redesigned with form and function in mind – delivers a precise, luxurious drawing and note-taking experience with a single click of the pen.

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Will Windows 8.1 Make You Reconsider Microsoft’s OS Disaster?

Microsoft Surface tabletWhen Microsoft released Windows 8 and its line of Surface tablets, we reported that Surface RT tablets are DOA, but that Windows 8 beats Windows 7 for audio and  that Windows 8 music apps could be huge.

Yeah – those last two predictions didn’t work out so well for us. Windows 8 has been panned by users and blamed for causing the “most precipitous PC decline in history.”

Now Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 – an update that adds some new features, but more importantly, fixes some of the things people hated about Win 8. Is it enough to make you reconsider the OS? Check out the details and let us know what you think! Continue reading

Microsoft Intros Surface 2, Surface Music Kit – Are They Enough For You To Consider A Windows Tablet?

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Microsoft today announced that the second generation of its Microsoft Surface family of tablets. It also announced new accessories for the Surface tablet computers, including a pressure-sensitive DJ controller.

Two new Surface models, Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2, along with an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories, will be available at Microsoft retail stores and retailers in 22 initial markets. Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 benefit from improvements to processing power and battery life, to display and camera resolution and to the Kickstand.

The first generation of Microsoft Surface devices failed to make a dent in the popularity of iPad and Android tablets. Will Microsoft have more success this time around? Check out the details and let us know what you think!

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