Since 2010, there has been an uprising of digitally enhanced instruments. So why hasn’t anyone created an instrument that creates dynamic melodies based on its surroundings? A bit far-fetched, you may say. But what if that instrument could take the crap you left on the floor and turn it into electric symphonies? The Musi is a device that turns the objects around it into rhythmic melodies. So if you’ve ever wanted to argue your way out of a messy situation, the Musi seems like the perfect excuse. “No, I’m sorry, but cleaning would disrupt the musical masterpiece laid out on the floor.”
It functions through an octagonal octave reading system, which essentially wraps the device in an octagonal octave. Depending on the distance to the objects you’ve laid around it, the device will lower or raise the pitch. The closer it is the lower the pitch, and vice versa. Turning the device on activates the sensors on each side of the machine, which in turn sparks off a melody based on the objects you’ve laid around it.
Musi was designed by Ernest Warzocha, an interaction designer who recently graduated from School of Form in Poznan, Poland, where he studied communication design. Musi was part of his graduation work, and he made two versions: the Musi and the Musi Pro. Both were inspired by creative learning techniques and projects like the Cubetto, an analog game designed to teach children coding. This child-oriented design has found its way into the Musi Pro, which has a stronger focus on the musical aspects of the device. It can be used as a MIDI controller together with music production software, whereas the original Musi simply interacts with its environment in one basic setting. Going Pro allows the user to change the BPM, sensor range, note length, reverse the order of notes, and, if you’ve got several, you can create chords by connecting a few sub-modules to the main module.
Practical uses for this device are still uncertain, but it might be different enough to spark curiosity among other musicians, and perhaps make people less prone to cleaning their rooms. If nothing else, it certainly looks like a fun device to use in the classroom, if for no other purpose than to learn music in a very physical way.