Art Professor Mark Allen’s latest experiment: music from the movement of babies

A new musical movement may be in its, well, infancy. Pomona College Art Professor Mark Allen, who runs The Machine Project in Echo Park, on Saturday (Feb. 18) will put on an unusual experiment using the movement of babies to make music with help from a computer, reports Pasadena-based KPCC (89.3 FM) in a web article.

Collaborator Scott Cazan has written software that uses a camera and a computer to track the movement of babies aged 6 months to 18 months, and convert that information into different sounds. Of course, the symphony will also include the natural sound of babies babbling, giggling and crying.

Allen and Cazan will premiere the results between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. this Saturday. Mark Allen says he makes no guarantees about the quality of the performance.

“We haven’t done this before,’ he says. ‘It could sound terrible, not work, be boring, embarrass everyone and end in tears — like most everything at Machine Project.”

We went in-depth about The Machine Project and Mark Allen, “The Curator of Cool,” in the fall 2009 issue of PCM.

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