While attending OCAD University, Loretta Faveri, our SonicWear founder, began experimenting with wearable electronics and built serveral interactive belly dance costumes that used hand crafted body sensors and Lilypad Arduinos to turn dancer’s movements into music. Upon graduation in 2012, she created the SonicWear team and we completed the first phase of R&D with a Federal Development grant offered through OCAD University. We worked closely with OCADU’s Social Body Lab and collaborated with dancers and choreographers from Ballet Jorgen and The Studio For Movement to develop SOMO, a discreet wireless wearable MIDI Controller that generated sound through body movement. The goal was to make SOMO easy to wear and the software interface simple to use. View a synopsis of our final report here. We experimented with accelerometers and pressure sensors embedded in the dancers’ footwear.
The second phase of our research included the development of a creative movement program where multiple users could generate sound within the same musical mode and key. This enables participants to work together as a team to create a composition of both movement and sound. Our goal is to make participants feel safe and comfortable while exploring multiple learning activities including collaboration and creativity. Below are images from our initial research.