Friday, November 17, 2006

In all fairness, it's not airness

I've been pondering long and hard all these news stories regarding the 'air guitar t-shirt' and have decided that in all fairness, that's not airness.

I've decided to establish some basic principals of air guitar:

1. Air guitar is not a virtual instrument.
2. Air guitar is an instrument that exists in its absence.
3. Air guitar playing does not mark the lack of an instrument, it traces the presence of an absence of an instrument.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The future, today!

Hi-tech T-shirt turns air guitar into the real thing

Bobbie Johnson, technology correspondent
Monday November 13, 2006
Guardian Unlimited

Scientists have cranked it all the way up to 11 thanks to a new hi-tech take on the air guitar.
Engineers in Australia - the home of rock legends including AC/DC and INXS - have developed a new T-shirt which enables the wearer to play air guitar and create real noise in the process.

Richard Helmer and a team of researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia's national science agency, fashioned the "wearable instrument shirt" out of an ordinary T-shirt fitted with an array of sensors.

The built-in technologies measure the movements of the wearer, allowing them to "play" by moving one hand to mimic guitar chord patterns and using the other to pluck virtual strings. The shirt is hooked up to a computer that is able to read the signals and turn them into guitar sounds.
The researchers say it allows anyone to thrash out their impressions of Led Zeppelin without ever picking up a real guitar.

"It's an easy-to-use virtual instrument that allows real-time music making, even by players without significant musical or computing skills. It allows you to jump around, and the sound generated is just like an original MP3," said Dr Helmer.

Immortalised in movies such as Wayne's World, air guitar is a popular pastime among millions of rockers worldwide.

Guitar Hero, a videogame in which players strum along to a sequence of tracks, is one of the most popular titles currently available.

The CSIRO team say they plan to create variants of the T-shirt which can mimic other instruments.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

It's been a long time...

Yikes, a message from the 2005 World Champ, the Destroyer, reminded me of how long it's been since I last wrote. No excuses really, other than the usual boring ones about being too busy living and working (and of course, doing the odd bit of phd!).

The documentary is coming along slowly...Since our return we've been stymied by the fact that our director has had to work on other projects to pay the rent, but we're getting to the stage now where we'll have a short promo ready soon, so can start to tout it round and see what sort of response we get.

So what have I been up to? Well, I did a lecture on Sexuality and Gender in Air Guitar to Salford Uni undergrads, which was a good experience, and also prompted me to actually do some writing. I've also just finished performing in a modern version of Hamlet, called PRINCE with the rest of my Troupe girls. We've never really done a full-on theatre production before, as we previously have confined our public outings to gigs and clubs. I think we were all surprised by how horny actors are all the time!