Soundable Fashion Arrives with Jacket Soundboard
Showpiece blurs the line between wearable tech and art with 52 playable tiles
Showpiece is a jacket decorated in squares that play music depending on which square panel you touch.
Designed by Ylenia Gortana in collaboration with New York musician Birdmask, Showpiece is the first wearable soundboard. Inspired by, but a departure from, the one-man band outfit depicted in Mary Poppins, the jacket looks like a quilted coat. Instead of the squares containing insulation, each responds to being touched with playing a preset sound. A total of 52 tiles cover the jacket, set along the front and down the arms. Each is connected to the control center in the jacket’s back, where the sound files are played.
This music interface was created for the developing concept of “Soundable Fashion,” a way of moving catwalk fashion out of the purely visual by incorporating sound.
Each of the jacket’s tiles consists of a layer of copper thread, and one of silver thread, separated vial velostatic foil. The foil gives sensors the ability to transmit a range of signals, and gives each tile an on/off switch.
A pair of Arduino Lilypad boards connect them to the bluetooth signal board, which converts the data from the touches into midi sound signals.
Ylenia Gortana is a passionate artist with a background in drawing faces and portraits that stems from a fascination with creating characters. Within her oeuvre, she has developed a reputation for breaking rules with small changes to form, size or color. A project that adds music to wearable fashion suited those tastes well. Find out more about Showpiece and her other projects on her website.
Birdmask, aka Manual Gagneux, has worked on music his entire life, and is especially interested in how music affects and interplays with all other aspects of life. His other musical projects are available free via his Soundcloud page.