Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Look and Feel

OK, I stop complaining how I'm NOT posting regularly anymore. It seems Facebook has taken over my posting, but I think this is still important to continue... Anyway, the above picture is the new Augmented Violin glove, this time designed by a professional fashion designer in NYC named Mark Salinas. I played a concert at the Issue Project Room a few weeks ago, where I debuted this new design. In March, I performed at the Merkin Hall in NYC, in a concert I helped curated for the Music From Japan festival 2009. Mark was in attendance and saw my DIY glove; he approached me and proposed to design it. My "DIY" glove was seeing its limit: it was made of too-soft lace that kept getting loose (that I had to put a rubber band around my wrist), and the black balloons that housed the sensor/batteries kept sliding off, once during a concert. I had never worked with fashion professionals before, and this is such a wonderful discovery that really made my year. I appreciate the aesthetics and discipline of design so much, and have such respect for designers how they go about the process of constructing a project from scratch. In my case, Mark had to take in account that my index finger and my middle finger CANNOT be fixed together (to hold the bow and play flexibly), nowhere on my hand can feel too tight, nothing should be shaking, sensors have to be fixed on the right spot etc. etc. He did all that and this is our first prototype. A new friend I met through Dave Soldier's concert also at IPR, Cellist Ha-Yang Kim suggested that I need STUDS :) and Mark came up with sewing sequin that would sparkle, and also stay fixed without being glued. The fabric is a thin spandix, and it fits perfectly, not too tight, not too loose. I could perform my non-computer music pieces without even thinking about it, as 4 out of 5 of my right hand fingers are uncovered. I would really like to thank Mark and again, it was such a pleasure working with him.

ps. Regarding the previous entry on the STRINGS magazine article about Jean-Claude Risset's Violin Concerto "Cadenza" I wrote using Subharmonics, the wonderful music editor Graham Pellettieri patiently worked with me and this is what we came up. I didn't want to make this into a 2-stave system, but with the concert pitch, fingering positions and different kinds of subharmonics it was too complicated and had no choice. I think this is the clearest option and I am so grateful for all the support. You can read the entire article here and see the entire score here and here.