Fast Company

"Humanthesizer" Turns Bodies Into Electric Instruments

Sounds like a gimmick, right? Watch this video and try not to be charmed.

Calvin Harris

As Creative Review reports:

To promote Calvin Harris's new single, Sony Music creatives Phil Clandillon and Steve Milbourne (who you may remember were responsible for the AC/DC ASCII Excel video last year) decided to use Bare Conductive, a technology developed by RCA Industrial Design and Engineering masters students Bibi Nelson, Becky Pilditch, Isabel Lizardi and Matt Johnson. Bare Conductive is "skin-safe, conductive ink". When painted on the skin, it allows a current to be passed through the body without causing an electric shock.

In turn, that conductivity allows human-to-human touch to complete a circuit, generating pre-programmed sounds. All of which sounds a bit daft, as the Brits would say--especially given that the "Humanthesizer" angle here seems designed primarily as an excuse to show pretty ladies in bikinis. But you've gotta watch the video:

Now, we're a bit unsure if the actual music being played is merely a trick of the editing--the cuts are a bit jumpy and its' hard to tell if this thing works. But can you imagine the possibilities of something like this in the hands of Radiohead or David Byrne? Just think: Participatory concerts; an entire crowd turned into the very instruments that they're listening to.

More at CR, including a "making of" video.

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