Through the use of an Arduino board and a sensor, everyday objects can be turned into a musical instrument. While the technology has been growing less expensive and more accessible, the creation of new devices and controllers can be seen emerging from the music hacking and maker communities. The popularity of open-source platforms has allowed music hackers to create their own unique performances using digital controllers and instruments
The connection between music and the maker/hacker movement has become greater to the point that Maker Faire Europe now includes not just an entire section devoted to musical inventions, but also Maker Music performances that include non-conventional instruments and performances that feature instruments made by the performers. During an event such as Music Hack Day, a hackathon held by Music Tech Fest or another group, every team creates a performance or device to create a use for a sensor or product that could be used to integrate into the music world. Out of these creations, teams may continue to develop their idea into their own performance or product idea and launch a Kickstarter campaign stemming from their concept.
Through research and work as a performer, teacher and artist, Alayna Hughes has explored the use of fabrics, brainwaves, muscles, virtual reality and gesture as a means of creating music and visuals. The art-music-tech group Curiosibot (Barberis and Hughes) have developed a wireless controller prototype suit for the artist Nona Hendryx, built robots to play music, hacked instruments, and most recently, built a room that is an interactive instrument controlled by movement. This chapter will discuss the trends within the maker community along with experiments and creations using 3D printing, conductive fabrics and materials, and Arduino. This chapter will also explore several cases in music and interaction by discussion several projects by Curiosibot as well as some recent examples by mainstream artists.