Normally, whenever we learn to play a musical instrument, we have to take time to teach our bodies to move in certain ways. Like learning to touch-type, this involves coordination and the development of muscle memory, and it can take a long time to become proficient. Designer Pietr-Jan Pietr, a graduate of the Design Academy Eindhoven, has designed a set of musical instruments he calls ‘Sound On Intuition’ that skip the tedious learning process and capitalise on our body’s natural movements to make music, albeit in a pretty basic and primitive form.
Pietr-Jan’s MIDI-controlled instruments include the Wob, which is a bit like a theremin, and emits a sound that mimics the wave created when you wave your hand above it, the Fngr, which attaches to your finger, like a sensor that takes your pulse, and reacts to taps, and the Scan, which uses your handwriting, translating dots and lines into electronic beeps. Another sensor wraps around your foot and turns toe tapping into drum sounds. Finally, the Heart, like a stethoscope, transforms heart beats into drum sounds, claps, or any other sound you care to mention, or programme.
The tunes you can create with Pietr-Jan’s instruments is pretty basic and repetitive, and, as Daniela Walker writes on PSFK, ‘Sound On Intuition’ is aimed at “the musically inept”, but it’s a fun and intriguing way to find out what our bodies are capable of creatively.