Imogen Heap's Electronic Gloves Are Reinventing How Music Is Made
Do singer-songwriters dream of electric gloves? Apparently so. Imogen Heap dreamt of electronic gloves and her dream has pretty much come true it seems with Mi.Mu Gloves that are on the cutting-edge of creative arts technology.
[Image Source: Mi.Mu Gloves]
If you're not familiar with Imogen Heap, that might be because she's completely independent. She's one of the most technologically savvy musicians alive today. A quick visit to her website will make you think you've landed in a different galaxy:
"Self-produced, independent, engaged, she blurs the boundaries between pure artform and creative entrepreneurship. Heap's last album, Ellipse, earned her a Grammy and Ivor Novello award. This summer marks the release of Sparks, her fifth and most ambitious album to date, which includes the glove song, Me the Machine." -Mi.Mu Gloves
Before we get into to this topic of high-tech gloves making music, stop for a second and watch this video of Imogen Heap creating music with her intuitive, electronic gloves that interact with her computer. You will instantly understand how music could soon be made without having to play instruments or type any commands into a computer. All you would need to do is move around expressively, positioning your electronic glove-covered hands and fingers in a way that is unique and rhythmic:
Imogen Heap has been working with computer scientists like Adam Stark to create electronic Mi.Mu Gloves that create music when they are moved in different positions. Adam Stark is actually more than a computer scientist. He's a researcher and musician too, so applying knowledge from three different disciplines bridges the gap between software engineering and expressive art. Imogen also worked with Hannah Perner-Wilson who is a futuristic DIY e-textile expert.
According to CNN, Imogen wrote a song specifically for the gloves to compose. She and her team worked towards the goal of creating the software and hardware for the gloves to compose and perform all the music on stage without the help of additional backup music. The end result was the creation of the song, Me The Machine. It truly looks like something out of the future but after hearing the words, you'll quickly be able to relate to the topic of digital interdependence:
Imogen Heap might be the first musician to be truly digitally and creatively extended by wearable technology. She seems to have both an intuitive grasp of what's possible mixed with an advanced ability to synthesize new technology into her imaginative musical compositions.
[Cover Image Source: Imogen Heap's Reverb YouTube video]