Participants: Joseph Malloch
Fernando Rocha (www.fernandorocha.net)
Marcelo M. Wanderley (supervisor)
The Hyper-Kalimba.
Funding: NSERC Discovery Grant (M. Wanderley)
Project Type: Collaboration
Time Period: Sept. 2007 - June 2008. (Completed.)

Project Description

The Hyper-Kalimba is the result of a collaboration between Joseph Malloch and Brazilian percussionist Fernando Rocha. The instrument itself is a kalimba or thumb piano, augmented with a contact microphone and sensors for tracking the gestures of the performer. Currently the augmentation consists of:

  • contact microphone
  • 2 FSR pressure sensors
  • 3-axis accelerometer
  • 2 buttons
The Hyper-Kalimba.The bottom of the Hyper-Kalimba, showing the electronics.

The sensors have all been chosen and placed so that they will not interfere with tradition kalimba technique, and allow the performer to make use of natural ancillary gestures involved with kalimba playing.

Performances of the Hyper-Kalimba have taken place at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in 2007, The Banff Centre for the Arts, Sound Symposium XIV in St. John's, Newfoundland, and the Festival de Iverno da UFMG in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.



Fernando Rocha and Joseph Malloch. "The Hyper-Kalimba: Developing and Augmented Instrument from a Performer's Perspective". In Proceedings of the Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC), 2009, pages 25–29.

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