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  • Imogen Heap: Hands-On MIDI - Literally

    By Team HC |

    Imogen Heap Interview

    Hands-On MIDI - Literally


    by The MIDI Association (presented by Team HC)





    Tell us briefly about yourself


    I write, sing, play various instruments, program drums etc, edit, mix and produce my own work in my home studio or wherever a project takes me.

    I'm now fully independent, with no management, publishing or label! It feels amazing to be completely untethered. 

    Over the last five years I've been developing with a team of now eight people, a gestural performance system around wireless gloves. We call the system Mi.Mu. To reach inside the technology of the computer and sculpt music. Changing the way creatively we think about sound both at the writing and performance end of the spectrum, and closer engagement with the audience. 

    I tend to make things where I find gaps in my life, workflow or business. Songs, gloves and recently imagining a Fair Trade Music industry I call Mycelia.



    What was your first encounter with MIDI?


    A sound module in the cupboard at the music school I went to. In there was an Atari with Notator, and the sounds I played were off of this device… but I actually have no idea what it was but it was hooked up via MIDI! I was 12, this was back in 1990.



    How do you use MIDI today?


    I use it mainly when mapping my gloves into Ableton Live. Choosing the MIDI channel and note or cc, I can automate anything within the program, wirelessly and fluidly. For example, simply panning a sound from left to right, by moving my arm left to right. Or gaining the length of a reverb by One Finger Point, to the top right 'corner' of the space before me.



    How has MIDI allowed you to do what you do?


    The [MIDI] standard is one of the few where, because of its elegance and simplicity, it has been adopted across the industry and so making it possible to try out all manner of weird and wonderful applications. It just works. We just need someone to sort out wireless a bit better now so we don't have to have all those darned MIDI cables!


    Anything else you'd like to add?


    Just to say thank you!




    Reprinted with the express written permission of The MIDI Association









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    The MIDI Association’s mission is to nurture an inclusive global community of people who create music and art with MIDI. The www.MIDI.org website is the central repository of information about anything related to MIDI technology, from classic legacy gear to next- gen protocols on the horizon.

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