Butoh is a Japanese dance theater that mainly use movement to express emotions and stories. The performers usually paint their body white and exhibit choreography and movement in silence. This kind of performance began to gain popularity in Thailand and now we there are several groups that try to apply this technique into theatre. Though butoh is usually performed without any sounds to music, my friend (a theater actress) and I would like to create a performance that bring sounds and new aspect to a butoh performance.
We want to create a bodysuit that will turn the performer into a human instrument. While the performer is moving, the audiences can come up and make contacts with each parts of the performer’s body to create sound effects, alter the background music as well as add new sounds. I plan to use various DIY textile sensors for the bodysuit so that it is easier to sew on and would make the suit more light-weighted. The sensors I plan to use is touch pressure sensors and stroke sensors.
For midterm presentation, I made a prototype of the bodysuit with DIY touch pressure sensors attached to a various parts of the suit. I then use Ableton connection kit to map each sensor to each parameters of Ableton Live to control the pitch and apply sound effects to the music.
I tested the sensors with Arduino IDE and they all worked perfectly and gave stable values. However, when I connected them to Ableton Live, the mapping were all messed up and in the end I could only control one of them. I think it is because I used Adafruit’s FLORA instead of UNO and the pin numbers are somehow different. I tried to look up id anyone has experienced using FLORA with Ableton but unfortunately I couldn’t find any useful information so I decided to use one sensors to control several sound effects in Ableton instead. I will upload a demo video of how this works like I showed in class soon!
For next steps, I will try to find a way to fix the mapping and connection between FLORA and Ableton. It I can’t, I will switch to Arduino UNO since there has already been so many projects using it with Ableton so it will be easier to improve and debug the code. I also would love to work on visual improvement and work on how to make the bodysuit look appealing and is also comfortable for the performer to wear and move in.