Rogue Performer Turns Friend’s Face Into Drum Kit—All for Science!

By Jennifer Welsh | December 23, 2010 9:57 am

There are oodles of instruments and websites out there to help you make funky sounds, but for some reason, artist/performer/DJ/composer Daito Manabe feels the need to torture his friends instead. He uses a combination of electric shock pads and muscle electricity sensors to both conduct a drum show and contort his friend’s facial expressions.

When the drummer touches the drum he sets up myoeletcric currents in his fingers. The sensors attached to his fingers pick up this charge and use it to beat a virtual drum machine.

The shock pads on the drum’s face respond to the specific sounds of the drum, giving him a shock in specific places and causing his facial contraction and crazy expressions. This half of the video was performed by Manabe himself in an earlier video.

Manabe’s homebrew experiments are inspired by work started 150 years ago, explains Technology Review:

He uses electricity, music, computers and video to expand on what were literally the earliest scientific experiments ever to be recorded photographically–the electrical shocks to the face of Parisians administered in the 19th century by Guillaume Duchenne.

Sounds pretty cool, right? Well don’t sign up too fast. The shocks to the face don’t just stimulate the muscle fibers, they also stimulate the facial nerves, causing pain (as evidenced by the video and the picture above).  He’s also experimented with sound and light (perfect for ravers), which seems a little less painful.

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