‘Create a sound that reacts to your breath or turn a plant into your doorbell’


Tuesday 04 November 2014 10:19 GMT

Apples can be used to make pies, cider or to float on water for a bobbing game. The popular fruit is also said to keep the doctor away and once gave its name to the record label founded by The Beatles.

Now it has a new use – as a musical instrument. Strange though it may seem, the apple can make sound, just like the orange, grapefruit or parsnip. We know that thanks to an initiative called Ototo by Dentaku, a UK-based start-up that has invented an interactive music kit.

They have made sound interactive through sensors that can assign music notes to an “orchestra” of different objects. Want to transform your kitchen into an orchestra? Ototo uses touch sensing to recognise when you make contact with an object and trigger a sound.

The invention will be on show at the Learning Festival for everyone to try out. “The sensors can provide 50 different sounds that people can combine,” says Yuri Suzuki, the Tokyo-born sound artist and co-founder of Dentaku, the collective of artists and designers based in London. “Though the focus is on making music, it helps children to understand electronics as well,” he continues.

By combining materials and sensors there is a project out there for everyone, he says: “Be inventive – create a sound that reacts to your breath or turn a plant into your doorbell.”

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