Gestofon is an electroacoustic instrument in which the performer uses gestures to control the software that plays in various ways sound samples of extended performance techniques recorded on several instruments. The device responsible for tracking gestures is Leap Motion. The software was prepared in the MAX 8 environment, based on the Leap Motion SDK v 2.1.5 libraries and leapmotion.mxo external object. The instrument was created as part of the “Samplofon” scientific and artistic project, implemented at the Studio of Electronic and Computer Music. W. Koton University of Music of F. Chopin in cooperation with Andrzej Kopeć (Department of Composition) and Igor Szymański (Department of Sound Engineering).
For the needs of the project, libraries of sound samples were recorded, containing samples of extended performance techniques, made by eminent instrumentalists specializing in performing new music on the following instruments: cello – Mikołaj Pałosz; bass and double bass clarinet – Michał Górczyński; piano – Zygmunt Krauze; string quintet – Hashtag Ensemble. The sound samples are reproduced in a linear way, using a granulator, granular delay line, scrubbing.
Gestofon is an attempt to implement the idea of a strong correlation of auditory and visual stimuli, extremely important for the perception of live music, and often almost absent in computer music. The instrument allows the performer to control selected sound parameters by changing the position of both hands in three-dimensional space, changes in the speed of hand movement, fist clenching gesture, hand rotation. Gesture mapping has been programmed in such a way that the influence of gestures on the sound is intuitive, direct, readable for the audience and ensures high performance expression.