•June 6, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Dear world,

We have long since moved (over a year ago) to

We had paid to forward all of our pages here to our new site for the last year, however, things should be completely migrated by now, and most incoming links updated. As this is the case, we are no longer renewing our forwarding. We ask that you kindly update any  links you may have to this site to Thanks a lot!



New software a.k.a “Spaces” + Roots Video/Montage…

•November 19, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Firstly, I would like to give a big thanks to everyone who came out to the RedCat lounge for an evening of some of the finest electronic music happening right now. It was great to meet a lot of new faces, and I had a really good time.

Since the gig was a performance gig, we worked with our good friends Dimitri and Jim on a new performance application for Brick. Essentially the screen is split up into 16 blue columns. We have four instruments, each with four parameters (IE pitch/notes, filters…etc) that get assigned to the individual columns. By gliding up and down on the columns, you can change and control the instruments and music. As you move from the top to the bottom of a column, the color gradually changes from blue to pink, and provides the performers with visual feedback.

*tech note* All the visuals were done in processing again, and the audio is all synthesized using Reaktor.

Check out the video above to see Spaces in action!

In other news, as part of a submission to the MAST 2009 (Workshop on Media Arts, Science, & Technology) at UC Santa Barbara, we have compiled a new montage video of Brick Table II, some new Roots footage (!!!), as well as some older footage you may have seen in our other videos. The video is called “Musical Applications for Multi-Touch Interfaces” and it shows some of the ways we have been exploring using Brick Table as a musical instrument. Check it out below, thanks!

Roots Video & Life After Minitek

•October 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment

For those of you who have browsed our vimeo group, you might have noticed the teaser video of Roots above.  We apologize for not making a formal announcement sooner, as the video has been up for a while, but without further delay, if you haven’t seen it yet…enjoy!

This was shot as a teaser video before we were supposed to have our installation at Minitek festival, and so the audio track on the video isn’t the audio being generated by Roots itself…we had to keep something a secret for the big day 🙂

That being said, for those who were at Minitek, and for those who couldn’t make it, you might have heard that Roots actually didn’t end up showing, due to one of our two packages getting mixed up at UPS– which ended up being stuck in their warehouse over the weekend.  We want to extend our sincerest apologies to those who came to see the installation and were not able to.  We had prepared for the festival for a long time and were really excited to unviel both Roots and our new touch table.  We tried everything we could to get our package but unfortunately it was beyond our control.

All in all, we met a lot of great people at Minitek and were glad to have talked to a lot of you who came to check out our work– we can’t tell you how much we appreciate your kind words and you taking interest in what we are doing.  We promise that Roots will surface sometime in the near future (email us if you’re interested in showing it) and for now, enjoy the teaser video.  Expect a new video demonstrating Roots with its interactive sound in the near future as well.


New Table + Roots & Minitek + Arduinome

•August 6, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Many of you might be wondering… why haven’t we posted in a little while? Perhaps no excuse is good enough, but we DO have lots of exciting news for you. Yes, we know, we’ve been holding off for too long, but we hope you will forgive us because there are lots of exciting things going on.

New Brick Table

Brick Table, the actual physical table has come a long way since we first made it. It has gone from velcro support and resting the projector on a Digikey ordering catalog to a fully welded support system, with a custom projector and camera positioning system. Setting it up went from over an hour to a matter of minutes. But even with all its improvements, we realized that perhaps we weren’t using the actual surface of the table to its maximum potential. It had a relatively large footprint, and we feel that we can better use its real estate. Instead of tearing it apart and trying to make it work for a new set up, we are building a NEW Brick Table! The new Brick will have a much larger usable surface, which means better application support, more functionality, and the ability to support more people at a time. Thats good for us and YOU! We are just about wrapping up design and materials and will (hopefully) be building the new table this week. More on that soon.

Roots & Minitek Festival

Roots is the latest application/installation being developed for BricK. It is going to debut at the Minitek

Electronic Music + Innovation festival taking place in New York, September 12-14. We have been collaborating with the amazingly talented interactive designer/developer Memo Akten. If you aren’t familiar with his work, I highly recommend clicking his name and browsing his website. We are extremely lucky and honored to be working with him on this project, and soon, you will see why. For now, heres a simple photo-teaser.

In short, Roots is a collaborative inviting audio-visual experience where users use their fingers to create branching vines that trigger sounds. Using multi-touch finger interaction and fiducials (tangible objects), the user(s) are able to make music either completely generatively, semi-random by setting up generative systems/rules for the environment, or completely trigger-based following finger movement. For more information see “What is Roots?”

If you are in New York, or want to give yourself a vacation, come check out Roots for yourself!

Arduinome (Formly the Arduino Monome Project)

If you stumbled upon the Arduinome project coming to check out Brick, or stumbled upon Brick because you are following the Arduinome project, you will know that Owen and I are always multitasking, and working on multiple projects. So whichever way you found yourself here on our website, the Arduinome project is one of the other main projects Owen and I have been part of recently.

The goal was to create a “clone” of the amazingly inspiring Monome USB interface using the Arduino micro-controller. Or as we call it, the Arduinome! It is a collaborative project, and completely open source. We posted the first working firmware we got working along with photos, parts list…etc so others could also take part in the project. Being completely open source, we have been able to work with many great people who have contributed to make the firmware and Arduinome’s much better, and more stable. If you are interested in this project, please see the dedicated sections in our sidebar, and watch out soon for the official released of the newest firmware and also its host application, ArduinomeSerial.

BricK+MahaDeviBot+ESitar = New Video!

•May 3, 2008 • 1 Comment

We just got back from Stanford and man was it a great time! Everyone was extremely nice and intelligent and very inspiring. It was also great because we had a lot of time to demonstrate how we are interfacing BricKTable with the MahaDeviBot– Dr. Ajay Kapur’s Indian folk drum and percussion playing robot.

Check out the video above to get a glimpse of how we are merging the two technologies as well as see some other clips of table from other events. There is also great footage of the ESitar mixed in, Dr. Kapur’s own interface design for the MahaDeviBot in which he uses a custom made sitar with all the sensors you could ever dream of to simultaneously play the sitar (melody) and the accompaniment (the robot/drums).

First Kids To Make Music With Brick…

•April 18, 2008 • 1 Comment

Kid Makes Music Using Brick Table + Weather ReportWhile browsing through flickr photos of Yuri’s Night Bay Area 2008, I came upon a few photos of some of the cutest kids in the world playing with Brick. Not only could I not stop smiling, but I started thinking about what I saw when kids played with the table and made music. While with adults there are often plenty of questions into the technology behind the table, what it is doing, how it works…etc, what I noticed with younger kids is that none of that matters all that much. They just pick up the fiducials, or press their fingers on the screen, and listen to what it does. The pure wonderment in having something so physical be represented both visually on the screen and audibly through headphones or speakers is just a very amazing and rewarding thing, and a huge part of what this whole thing is about. It’s something kids (not surprisingly) seem to realize pretty quickly.

(photo to the left courtesy of Jen Sorenson, photo above courtesy of Arlen)

Yuri’s Night, Videos, Photos, and the Tenori-On!

•April 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

So we just got back from Yuri’s Night Bay Area 2008 late last night (or should I say this morning) and the whole thing feels sort of surreal.  Owen and I are extremely lucky to have had Brick table as an installation for people to come and play with, and we were also part of a new performance interface competition sponsored by Create Digital Music.

AND WE WON!  The video you see in this post is from the final lightning round, where we had 60 seconds to out-interface the Choromatron– another very cool performance tool.  Amazingly, both the audience and judges decided that the Brick Table won their hearts as the best new music performance interface in the competition.  So Owen and I found ourselves in the van driving home, with this strange and uber-everything button controller with our hands, amazed with just how simple, cool, and elegant the tenori-on is.  We are working on getting better at it (come on people we’ve only had it for 24 hours! haha) but watch out for videos of us playing with the little beast on youtube soon.

Yuri’s night was just plain amazing.  Owen and I had the opportunity to demonstrate and talk with literally thousands of people about Brick table.  The competition is one of Owen and my proudest moments and we feel so honored and special that you all seem to like and enjoy Brick table, as we have been putting so much time and work into it.  But from all of this, probably one of the most exciting and insightful parts of the weekend was just coming to and from the table, and seeing the faces of thousands of people lit up from Brick tables’ screen…smiling…using your hands and ears to make music.

We know a lot more about our instrument than we could have ever known before Yuri’s night, from talking and seeing how people interact with it.   For those of you who were there, thank you so much!  We hope you had a great time and got a chance to play with Brick.  If you didn’t, or you couldn’t make it out to Yuri’s this year, don’t worry!  This won’t be the last of Brick… for now check out the video I just put up on youtube, and check back soon, as I will have lots of photos and even a couple more videos up for your viewing pleasures…and please, send us your personal photos!

CDM & Other Brick Updates

•March 18, 2008 • 1 Comment

Brick Updates:

  1. Long-time fans of CDM (Create Digital Music), Owen and I are ecstatic about the article they just posted on Brick Table. If you aren’t already frequent readers of CDM, you should really check out their website– its one of our personal favorite places for music and technology information on the internet.
  2. Stability! Stability! We are currently working on making the table more stable and robust, both physically and on the software side of things for Yuri’s Night Bay Area.
  3. Brainstorming new ways to use the table and interesting new software to make to interface with the table. If you have any ideas, please feel free to email us or post a comment.
  4. Website. We are trying to add as much content to the website as possible. We will add be adding more photos and videos as we get our hands on them. We have some interesting demonstrations this week so keep an eye out for more photos soon. For now check out the photos and the youtube video we have up now, and please, please feel free to post comments!

NASA Here We Come! Brick @ Yuri’s Night 2008

•March 5, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Well ladies and gentleman, it is official…Brick is going to be at this years Yuri’s Night Bay Area 2008, the so called “Burning Man meets NASA” event sure to make history. For those of you who aren’t aware of Yuri’s night, it is an amazing event put on by NASA bringing together the best in science, technology, art and music.

It will be held on huge air hangers @ NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Ca. There is a great list of music being played including Amon Tobin (which we are super excited about), and Phil Lesh from the Greatful Dead, as well as lots of amazing art and installations.

Owen and I are sincerely honored to be a part of the event, which on April 12th should draw around 8,000 people. We might be showing Weather Report, and/or partnering with some NASA scientists on something completely new and unique for the event. Stay tuned to find out more.

For now check out Yuri’s Night Bay Area 2008’s website for more information on the event and how to attend.

First video of Brick on Youtube

•March 5, 2008 • 1 Comment

The video above is Owen Vallis and I demonstrating Weather Report, our first installation utilizing Brick at Sea and Space Exploration gallery in Los Angeles this past weekend as part of their Sound and Space series this month.

We developed a custom interface that would allow the user to sonify real-time weather data and make music! Heres what it’s doing:

On the screen you see a map of the U.S. showing the current surface temperature (represented by color). As you take the drawing object and draw a path across the map, for example my drive from Chicago to Los Angeles, it triggers sounds that are linked to those geographic locations. The interesting thing is that is also tracking the surface temperature of the areas your a journeying though, and using that data to filter the audio. Once you stop drawing, it will automatically begin looping your path.

At the same time, you can place two other objects on the table and depending on how you rotate them, they will play different sounds (percussion, clicks, pops, field recordings…). Once you find what you like, you stop rotating and they two will automatically begin looping…what you now have is sort of a mini composition. And because the data is being driven by surface temperature, which is updated every hour via the internet, you will constantly be getting new and different results from hour to hour, day to day…month to month…and so forth.

We are currently working on adding more functionality to this idea, and brainstorming new ways to use this amazing technology. Hopefully in the near future we will have it doing full multi-touch finger-tracking to make it an even more hands on experience for the user.