Circuit Bending Orchestra for the Fairytale Fashion Show

Craft & Design Music
Circuit Bending Orchestra for the Fairytale Fashion Show

I am getting ready for my first NYC runway show, the Fairytale Fashion Show, on Feb. 24th at Eyebeam. I am writing about some of the preparations, on CRAFT and Make: Online. This show will be of the technology fashion collection developed at, where technology is used to turn make-believe into reality.

Last week, we looked at the Twinkle Pad circuit board that was developed for my sound reactive clothing. During the runway show, there will be a live circuit bending orchestra creating custom tunes for the sound reactive clothing. The orchestra consists of Peter Kirn, Lara Grant, Sarah Grant, and Matt Ganicheau. They will be making tunes from a hacked sewing machine and felted origami.

Sarah will be playing a felted origami “fortune teller” device. As she opens and closes the different segments, she will change the resistance across the felt. This will alter the playback speed of the sample. Lara will be playing the sewing machine pictured above. Two switches are created by wiring the needle and sewing through conductive fabric, each of the two switches triggering different sounds. These switches are connected to an Arduino Diecimila talking to Max/MSP on a computer, via the serial object. The knobs and buttons on the machine control the music loop played, the speed, and the frequency. Matt will process these sounds using a Monome, an open source controller, and the software Max/MSP to build textures and rhythms into the music. Peter will be spinning electronic beats to keep the models stepping, syncing to computers and sewing machines, and incorporating sounds synthesized from scratch and sampled from lo-fi electronics, into an electronic, synthetic fairy tale soundtrack. Using custom software he wrote from his phone, he’ll be commanding the ensemble wirelessly from his hand.

About the Musicians
Sarah and Lara Grant are a sisterly team with interests in physical computing, electronic textiles, and signal processing working under the name Felted Signal Processing. Peter Kirn is a composer/musician and media artist/visualist, an electronic producer, and the editor of leading tech blogs and Matt Ganicheau is a composer, designer and educator with a passion for exploring the boundaries of interactive audio.

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Fashion + Technology Diana was a contestant on Project Runway season 2, graduated from RISD, and currently lives in New York City.

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