Music for Invisible Friends: Band of Imaginary Instruments

We love pretending to play music, if the sales of games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero are any indication. Clever artsy type Scott Peterman is building an entire imaginary band that won’t require a video game platform to work. Aptly titled “The Imaginary Marching Band,” the project is both an exercise in technology and freedom from intrusive technology. Peterman wanted to create a friendly, more organic way to work into our daily lives the incredible technology available today.

The band consists of six instruments which are played with pantomime gestures. Trumpet, trombone, tuba, bass drum, snare drum and cymbals come to life when users put on a pair of white gloves with some curious-looking techy stuff attached. When you slip them on and make hand movements just like actual musicians would make with actual instruments, the gloves play actual music. The wind instruments even have air hoses which require air from the user’s mouth to work.

According to Peterman, even non-musicians can play the pantomime instruments easily. His vision is to make the instruments available to everyone, whether they have technical skills or not. All of the hardware he’s created is open-source and can be built at home, but hopefully Peterman will soon be able to offer ready-made versions for sale as well. The project was recently featured on Kickstarter and achieved its original funding goal. We’re looking forward to seeing full marching bands of imaginary instruments in next year’s summertime parades.


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See more in Do It Yourself or under Technology. July, 2011.