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.


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 human interface!

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