Ray Li’s Aura, SoundSpace, and related work

Ray Li, BS ’14 (Music 1421, 2421, Independent Study) and Michael Ndubuisi, BS ’14 (Music 1421), designed Aura (later evolving into SoundSpace), a new instrument that allows the musician to shape and control sound through hand movements.

SoundSpace uses electromagnetic sensors to track the exact position of the gloves in space. The motion of the musician’s hands can trigger prepared sounds, play different notes and add musical effects.

“We wanted to imagine sound as a tangible thing that you can hold between your hands,” Li said. “We’ve tried to create something that can basically do anything that you could do in a normal sound-editing computer program.”

Aura on Cornell Daily Sun video on Aura.

Video courtesy of the Cornell Daily Sun. Videographer: Ryan Larkin, film major.

Discovery Channel Daily Planet feature:

The software for Aura has, more recently, been expanded into SoundSpace including recent performances with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and as a solo instrument as with the demonstration of SoundSpace is below.

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