MUGIC® History

From DIY to sleek design, MUGIC® began as a way to transform and elevate musical expression.
Mari Kimura with short hair in an orange blazer holding a violin.
Mari Kimura
5 minute read

My History Working with Motion Sensor

In 2008, I started working with the Sound Music Movement Interaction Team on using MO (Modular Musical Objects).  The first prototype of their "Augmented Violin" used 'xbee' sensor, directly attached to the bow with an umbilical cord connected to a circuit board/battery to the wrist.  I revised this method by attaching all thee portions (sensor, circuit board, battery) of the mechanism into a glove, so it was easier to wear.  The following picture shows the history and the development of "Augmented Violin", custom-fitting to the right hand holding the violin bow.  There have been three developments up to today:

1) This is the very first generation of the Augmented Violin glove. I created a do-it-yourself glove, attaching the sensor, circuit board and battery portion onto a glove.

augmented violin diagram

2) in 2009, Mark Salinas of "Arrows-Up" contacted me after he saw my performance in 2009 in NYC, and proposed to design a glove for me.  This is the Augmented Violin glove designed by him, much more elegant and discreet.  It housed the xbee sensor at the bottom of my index finger on the palm side.

black MUGIC glove sensor with grooves in action

3) In 2011, as IRCAM upgraded their prototype replacing the xbee sensor with a much smaller and faster sensor "MO" (Modular Musical Objects, the 1st Prize winner of the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition in 2011), Mark and I redesigned a new glove together to fit the MO, which is the current model of the glove. (Photo: Librado Romero of The New York Times)

Mari Kimura Playing Violin with MUGIC® motion sensor gloveviolin and MUGIC® glove on brown coffee table

In 2013, I inaugurated the Future Music Lab at Atlantic Music Festival, where chosen Fellows will have access to using MO sensors with their instruments.

In 2016, my collaborator Liubo Borissov and I created a new prototype we are calling MUGIC® an arduino 9-axis DIY sensor.  Future Music Lab 2016 fellows used these units.  Since 2017, we are developing a hardware proprietary prototype at Calit2 at U.C. Irvine.  See the feature article in the Interface magazine. In 2020, now a registered product, MUGIC® became available for purchase.  Now MUGIC® is used by many artists, universities and professional festivals around the world.