Bubble Drum-agog-ing: Polyrhythm Games & Other Inter Activities

Jackson, Jay Alan

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This paper describes the bubble drum set, along with several polyrhythm games and interactive music activities that have been developed to show its potential for use as an input controller. The bubble drum set combines various sizes of colorful exercise balls, held in place or suspended with conventional drum hardware and thus creating a trap kit configuration in which the spherical surfaces can be struck and stroked from varying angles using sticks, brushes, or even by hands alone. The acoustic properties of these fitness balls are surprisingly rich, capable of producing subtle differences in timbre while being responsive over a wide dynamic range. The entire set has been purposefully designed to provide a player with the means to achieve a rigorous and healthy physical workout, in addition to the achieving beneficial cognitive and sensory stimulation that comes from playing music with a sensitive and expressive instrument.