Build Your Own Obama Speech

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Yesterday while walking around the DIY music section of Maker Faire Detroit, I heard a very familiar voice, though what the voice was saying was absolute nonsense. “People vote community achieve promise and hope together strength.” I followed the sound to find Ashley Lewis standing behind a keyboard telling a group of visitors about her Obama Board project. Each key on the keyboard is labeled with a word from Barack Obama’s 2009 inauguration speech and when you hit the key, that sample from the speech is played, allowing you to string together your own sentences out of the president’s words. It was interesting to watch the way people played the keyboard; some mashed on keys and some tried to make a coherent sentence, which I found to be much harder than it looks. After talking to her about the project, it’s clear she’s a big fan of Barack Obama, but she revealed that she didn’t vote for him in the last election—she’s Canadian.

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Matt Richardson is a San Francisco-based creative technologist and Contributing Editor at MAKE. He’s the co-author of Getting Started with Raspberry Pi and the author of Getting Started with BeagleBone.

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