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Imogen Heap Starts Kickstarter for Music-Making Gloves

Give her all your glovin'.
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(Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

(Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

By Kevin Rutherford

If you’re willing to drop a few dollars, Imogen Heap has a revolutionary new music-maker for you.

According to Mashable, a Kickstarter campaign has surfaced for the Mi.Mu Glove, a high-tech instrument that allows its user to create music simply by waving their hands. The glove was originally introduced by singer-songwriter Heap in 2011.

The product’s Kickstarter page features a four-minute video, during which Heap explains the backstory of the glove and demonstrates some of its potential uses.

“Like most musicians, I often use computers when I’m composing, recording and performing,” she says in the clip. “But I always feel that clicking a mouse or pressing a button, moving a fader, never enables me to interact expressively with the sounds that I’m producing. I always wished I could control my equipment more naturally.”

The result is the Mi.Mu Glove, which purportedly can do such things as, as the Kickstarter page points out, raising an arm to create the same effect as turning up a fader.

Our aim is to break down the barriers between musicians and machines, and between performers and audiences,” the team behind the glove states. “Every musician and/or performer will know the bane of their existence is to have to carry, or worse, ship vast amounts of technological equipment to whatever destination they are playing. The gloves are a compact, lightweight and self-contained system requiring little more than a laptop to function fully.”

On the page, the entire process of how the glove actually works is well-documented, explaining its use of technology that tracks hand orientation, flexing of fingers, sharp movements and more.

The campaign is set to end on May 3, with a goal of £200,000 (around $277,000). Perks for contributing to the Kickstarter range from a download of the first song ever created with the technology to the ability to help shape the final glove design. So far, £64,145 (a little over $89,000) has been contributed. With Kickstarter’s setup, Heap and co. will not receive the funds donated if they do not reach the minimum amount requested.

Work on the glove could possibly explain the lack of new material coming from Heap over the past few years. The English singer last released an album with 2009’s Ellipse, though she’s supposed to be releasing a new album, Sparks, this year; however, the LP’s release has been delayed from March to April and now to May.

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