D'CuCKOO D'Vices were always in the works to expand
the range of interactive tools available that would give the audience access to
the "art" and to each other. D'CuCKOO's sound featured custom digital
samples played on unique electronic percussion instruments--MIDI marimbas, MIDI
drum controllers and MIDI bamboo sticks, all of which were invented, designed
and built by the band. The colorful MIDI bamboo trigger sticks known as "D'Koostix"
were used with floor triggers that the audience played on the edge of the stage.
One of the last developments were 6' purple and yellow glowing triggers which
were built in collaboration with Janet Koike to play a unique electronic Taiko
style of drumming. They were used to set off a huge pyrotechnics display in celebration
of the city of Cleveland's Bicentennial Celebration
in 1996. D'CuCKOO wove a pallette of sonic textures for large-scale grooves
with the audience and also frequently invited everyone to bring their own percussion
instruments to jam along with the band.
The band was all about wild and wonderful high-energy live performances accentuated
by live video, computer graphics and interaction with the audience. D'Cuckoo shows
were muchomedia extravaganzas, with interactive "showtoys" such as the
famous D'CuCKOO MidiBall and RiGBy, an animated,
3-D computer-generated puppet.
WHAT PLANET DID THE MIDIBALL COME
D'CuCKOO's first attempt at jamming with the audience
involved bringing people on stage, where they played rhythms on MIDI trigger
pads. With Candice's invention of the D'CuCKOO MidiBall, a 5-foot floating balloon
filled with helium and wireless triggers, we'd discovered the ultimate computer
We defined "interactive" not only as "point and click,"
but also as dance, sing, shout and swing your arms about. A user interface should
be fun, accessible and intuitive: when a giant ball floats your way, you naturally
reach out to hit it. You don't have to think about it, you just do it. Each
hit of the ball by an audience member triggered sampled sounds and computer
visuals, while the band played, thereby everyond was jamming with the band.
The jam often began with brief sound bites (such as James Brown yelping, "Hit
me!"), then built rhythmically and musically.
RiGBy takes a shot at the MIDIBALL