Pieter-Jan Pieters on using human movement to compose music

Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Pieter-Jan Pieters makes digital music using his body parts as the instruments.

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Pieter-Jan Pieters is a recent Design Academy Eindhoven graduate, and founder of OWOW (theomnipresentworldofwizkids), interested in innovation, design, technology, engineering and fun. At Design Indaba Conference 2013 he talked about his Sound on Intuition (SOI) graduation project.

The SOI project looks at digitalising instruments and questions why people should learn to compose music by reading notes instead of simply using technology and computers, which is how most of today’s songs are created.

Throughout his Pecha Kucha presentation, Pieters explained how the ISO works. It consists of five instruments that translate people’s movements into sound. An arm-waving motion becomes a wavy sound; a person reaching up, a high note; the tapping of a foot or finger, a rhythm; its tempo, a heart beat.

By capturing the unique movements of people, the ISO allows users to interact with a computer in a more intimate and fun way.

"A live band isn’t perfect, neither is my project. That’s the beauty of it," says Pieters.

Ending off his presentation, Pieters enlightened audiences to a short but powerful live performance, where the designer used his body to compose a music piece.