Muze is the latest creation of Teaugue Labs, a collective operating alongside Teague, a long established industrial design agency and a name behind products for companies such as samsung and microsoft. The device itself is a musical instrument that ‘plays with you’ and aims to provoke a two way dialog between musicians.
The device reads a palette of notes that it can in-turn interpret and compose into various rhythms and phrases that are strung together to form something musical. The user can then influence these strings of notes and rhythms to create entirely new compositions using a simple collection of 8 triggers/knobs which are manually inserted. No single knob controls a single function, but rather a blend of functions derived from it’s rotation.
The team explains the thinking:
A couple of us started talking about the state of musical instruments, digital music creation, and how so much of it buckles under the weight of heavy user interfaces and the desire for more knobs, buttons and faders. What if we were to create a device that sings to you and has its own musical inclinations, yet can also engage in a two way dialog with another musician? Not something that can be controlled as much as be guided and influenced – and as a result guides and influences the user.
But Muze also has its own desire to explore and will continually improvise on the melodies it creates with you. It is out of this ability for it to self-create that Muze becomes a partner and not just an instrument. For instance, we have played with it and then left it to play over lunch. When we return it has come-up with something completely new, yet derivative. Sometimes what Muze creates is enjoyable, sometimes not. At which point you give Muze a little nudge and it creates something new.
All of the code and circuits are open source. You can check out the Arduino code and Eagle circuit schematic on the site. The team is planning to make it more musical, robust, and simple and would love to hear your thoughts, suggestions.
Posted on: 15/06/2011