Learning to play an instrument and acquire musical aptitude can be difficult, requiring long-term engagement and motivation to learn about music; jamming, (musical improvisation), is generally thought to be a skill reserved for the most fluent musicians. Jam Station utilizes various design techniques so that the musical elements of a jam are more accessible to novice and intermediate musicians. The station is a 7-by-4 feet rectangular PVC cuboid with four instruments crafted from everyday materials, situated so that each member of the jam faces a centrally and vertically oriented neopixel display. Jam Station's embedded sensors in the instruments trigger complex and colorful light displays as collaboration improves, helping nonmusicians improvise music together.
Website and see Jam Station in action at the Maker Made exhibition video.
Torin Hopkins, Peter Pascente, Wayne Seltzer, Kellie Masterson, and Ellen Yi-Luen Do. 2021. The Jam Station: Gamifying Collaborative Musical Experiences Through Algorithmic Assessment. In Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 58, 1–6. DOI:https://doi.org/10.1145/3430524.3442466 (Salzburg, Austria (virtual)–Feb. 14-19, 2021).