MirrorFugue – Music collaboration across space and time

MirrorFugue is a Ph.D. research project by Xiao Xiao at the MIT Media Lab, exploring communicating gesture in music collaboration across space and time. The project is comprised of a set of interfaces for piano to visualise the gesture of a performance. Based on the idea that the visibility of gesture contributes to learning and synchronisation, MirrorFugue displays the hand and body movements of piano playing using metaphors from the physical world to connect musicians from disparate spaces and times - and you can even play with yourself from the past.

We designed two modes to visualize the hand gesture of a performance, which we term "Reflection" and "Organ". Inspired by the reflective surface on a lacquered grand piano that mirrors the keyboard and player's hands, Reflection mode shows the mirrored keyboard and hands of a performance. Organ mode displays the unaltered, top-town image of the collaborator's keyboard like the aligned and offset keyboards of an organ.

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