Rubik’s Cube, Music’s Cube

Polfreman, Richard and Oliver, Benjamin

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

2017 marks the 40th anniversary of the Rubik’s Cube (under its original name the Magic Cube). This paper-demonstration describes explorations of the cube as a performance controller for music. The pattern of colors on a face of the cube is detected via USB video camera and supplemented by EMG data from the performer to model the performer’s interaction with the cube. This system was trialed in a variety of audio scenarios and deployed in the composition “Rubik’s Study No. 1”, a work based on solving the cube with audible connections to 1980’s pop culture. The cube was found to be an engaging musical controller, with further potential to be explored.