“If only twerking had a useful, productive purpose,” thought no one ever. However, when Danish audio design company AIAIAI wanted to provide users of its headphones with new music, they had the idea to turn a dancer’s buttock movements into sound. In their words–music made by the booty, for the booty.
AIAIAI approached Eindhoven-based design, technology, and engineering company OWOW, even though a partnership between these two businesses sounds quite painful (sorry). They developed technology called the “booty drum” and named the project Real Booty Music. The video voiceover explains: “The booty drum is a device that records body movements through accelerometers attached to the dancer’s booty. These movements translate into unique velocities and triggers. In this way, the dancer triggers the musician’s samples and together, they are creating a beat.”
To further explain for those more interested in technology than buttocks, the movements are mapped into unique MIDI values through Arduino hardware and processing software then used to trigger samples and create sounds in Ableton (a music sampling software system). Each movement sends out a unique set of values, so a dancer is able to play around with sounds.
When creating a track, the music’s structure, therefore, becomes a collaborative effort between the dancer and the musician who has created the samples and who can then shape the overall sound. OWOW enlisted Portuguese producer and DJ Branko (AKA Joao Barbosa) from the band, Buraka Som Sistema and Denmark’s leading twerking exponent Louise Kjølsen, who goes by the stage name of Twerk Queen Louise.
Together they created a free track “Cascavel.” On his Facebook page Branko shares the project and acknowledges Twerk Queen Louise’s contribution as his personal MIDI controller. “I am never using a keyboard again,” he jokes.
It is either an impressive and fun cutting-edge technological development or offensive. Nobody is sure which anymore.