Kouji Ohno, Tetsuya Yamamoto, Nobu Miake and Toshikazu Toyama will honor Ars Electronica with a demonstration of their mirage00.

This very clever musical instrument resembles a skinny refrigerator supported on an even skinnier leg. A touchscreen on one of the surfaces is the only indication that there’s more than just cold beer inside. What it contains are a convex mirror, a projector, several color LEDs, and naturally a computer that’s responsible for orchestrating the whole affair.

There are two ways to play the mirage. One is in sequencer mode, in which you can use it just like a Tenori-On or other sequencer to arrange loops and play them back together, all based on a temporal level. Anyone who’s ever heard a few bars of electronic music knows what this is all about.

The second is in magic pad mode that lets you get away from the strictness of musical arrangement. You can playfully mix the loops generated by a computer game engine and constantly discover new worlds of sound.

And what about the projectors? They transform acoustic events into visual ones and do so in a very richly textured way. The convex mirror immerses the person playing the mirage in a colorful beam of light that reacts to the notes and loops of the music and creates fantastic color effects. To augment the pulse of the music, you can tilt the entire instrument to produce optical distortions. The mirage has lots of interesting features and capabilities to discover.

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