Most of us are content to use the things we buy. Some of us modify what we have to better suit our own personality. And an even rarer segment of humanity makes dreams from the ground up.
Meet Tim Thompson, inventor, artist, technologist, programmer. Tim was one of the first backers of the Morph Kickstarter, and when he finally got the first few he ordered, he hit the ground running. When Sensel pushed their API to GitHub, he grabbed it and started coding.
Why was he so busy? Because the technology he had been needing to make the audio+video instrument he had been dreaming about was finally here. The Sensel Morph’s pressure sensitivity, size, and programmability happened to be the final piece needed for his Space Palette Pro.
Sensel caught up with Tim in his San Jose home to learn more about what he’s been up to with the Morph, and how he got to where he is. If you can’t touch the Space Palette Pro, you at least have to see and hear it!
Tim Thompson has been inventing unique interactive instruments for almost 20 years. His creations explore technology as an enabler for complexity and extending human capability. His latest and greatest creation is the Space Palette Pro, which uses four Sensel Morphs to create an audio/video instrument with unprecedented control and capability!
Of course, the Sensel Morph is normally operated with one of its rubberised overlays, themed for operating with different software categories, which magnetically snap onto the touch surface, however, Tim has taken a highly unconventional approach.
Tim is a regularly featured artist at a plethora of electronic music festival events, and his new Space Pallet Pro has proven itself hardy enough even to survive the notoriously dusty conditions of even the infamous Burning Man Festival. Check out this really video excerpt of his most recent performance on the Alchemist Grand Pyramid installation at Burning Man 2019.
Forward-thinking media performers in both the musical and visual arts spaces will welcome incorporating a device which can withstand these elements! If you’ve ever performed at any of the Australian Boof Doof festival events, you’ll appreciate this entirely!
As part of the festival, his completely interactive instrument was featured at the heart of the installation, Photon Salon. Festival goes were invited to visit the installation and prod, touch and stroke the Morph-equipped device to and enjoy the generative music software which also encompasses visual elements.
Here’s a photo of Tim’s rig after the onslaught of the desert – yes, it still works!
Don’t forget that the Sensel Morph is among only a handful of MPE (MIDI Polyphonic Expression) capable control surfaces available and the only one without the sticker-shock of other more esoteric devices!