I’ve know Dr Mick Grierson for a while now and I have to say that he is one of the smartest people in the music tech world that I know of. It’s going to be great to have the Kurv shown at the Beautiful Octopus Club this Friday (9th September) at the Royal Festival Hall.
If you’ve never heard of Kurv, here’s a bit more detail …
Based on research by Dr Mick Grierson at Goldsmiths, University of London, the Kurv combines advanced music synthesis software, sensor technologies and machine learning to enable an unprecedented level of new musical expression.
The Kurv consists of two parts: a button board, where you press chords and notes, and a pick. The pick contains a sensor that recognises strumming movements, just like playing a normal guitar. It has acoustic, electric and bass guitars, and comes with an app for iPhone or iPad, which connects via Bluetooth so there are no wires in the way of rocking out.
Mick says: “For the first time, we can run advanced music synthesis engines on your mobile phone. When you combine this power with wearable technologies and machine learning, you can develop new musical instruments that were considered science fiction only a few years ago.”
Dr Mick Grierson’s work on the Kurv forms part of a long-term Goldsmiths-led and European Commission-funded project called Rapid Mix, a consortium of computer scientists devoting years of research to the design and evaluation of wearable human-computer interfaces in creative fields such as computer games and music.
He’s also the research lead on SoundLab, a project testing out which digital music devices and apps can help people with learning disabilities make the music they want to make.