NEW INC Members Team Up With Matthew Dear to Create DELQA

Throughout history, from Bach to Bjork, musicians have continued to seek out technology as a means of adding new dimensions to their performances. Today, technology is increasingly democratizing music, as the tools to create and share music are more accessible than ever.

Facilitated by Microsoft Kinect technology and actualized by NEW INC members, DELQA is a dynamic and immersive environment that pushes the relationship of music and tech by creating an intimate space that surrounds visitors with unique sounds and visuals.  

Critically acclaimed musician and producer Matthew Dear worked closely with a collective of members from NEW INC: interactive developer Charlie Whitney, animator Philip Sierzega, music interaction and spatial sound team Dave Rife and Gabe Liberti, music interaction developer Yotam Mann, and environmental design team The Principals to determine how visitor’s movements could transform their environment, blurring the lines between creator and audience.

The idea was to create a new world called DELQA, built from an interactive architecture that brings to life the music of Matthew Dear. Using Microsoft Kinect sensors, our team created a dynamic architecture measuring 32’x24’x10’ that is reactive to climbing and touch. We were inspired by the tensile architecture of Frei Otto and Aleksandra Kasuba, as well as rolling mountain landscapes.
— Drew Seskunas, The Principals (NEW INC Member)

The interactive experience they devised uses 44 channel audio to create a 3D spatial audio system, combined with 8 Microsoft Xbox Kinects and a responsive lighting system in order to build a world out of music. The structure will comprise a large maze-like metal armature, covered in a black mesh fabric that visitors will wander through upon entering the project space.  Using slot canyon as inspiration for the form, the non-uniform paths and crevasses ask audience members to push, crawl and climb through the structure. As visitors explore the space, they also uncover new arrangements of sounds filled with rhythmic complexities, pitch range, and synthesis parameter. 

Visit the installation from August 6-9 to experience it for yourself and stay tuned for more updates, behind-the-scenes videos, and interviews about the project.

DELQA is on view at New Museum’s NEW INC Pop-Up Project Space, located at 231 Bowery, from August 6–9, 2015.  Viewing hours are Thursday–Friday, 11 AM–9 PM; Saturday–Sunday, 11 AM–6 PM.