If you haven’t heard of it yet, Gestrument is a gesture-based instrument for professional musicians and beginners, who want to explore making music in an intuitive way. The iOS software allows musicians to build advanced theoretical frameworks that they can later improvise within. Working on a touch-screen device, Gestrument users can play and interact directly with the rules behind the music. It allows you to approach music in a completely different way and play anything from Orchestral Music to Dubstep with the swipe of your fingers.
Gestrument can also be controlled with a motion sensor, allowing you to use your hands and body to create music. By using a Kinect device and a MIDI interface (and the Gestrument app, of course) you can translate your movements into sounds.
Gestrument can now be described as a unique piece of technology that allows you to transform any type of data into music – in real time. The software blurs the line between a playable instrument and a composed piece of music. Gestrument users can play on the DNA of music, generating or manipulating any genre of music by any input imaginable.
The gesture-instrument was invented by contemporary classical composer Jesper Nordin as his own compositional tool in 2007. After using the innovative tool for his own compositions and presenting it at various prestigious universities abroad, Jesper quickly realized the potential of his idea. He started by developing a MAX/MSP patch that allowed him to compose music using a Wacom tablet. Five years later, Jesper brings Jonatan Liljedahl and Emelie Bergbohm on board and the first version of Gestrument is released.
Jesper Nordin, Sander Sebton and Emelie Bergbohm
Since then, the team has expanded with professionals from the music and tech industries. Each of them, coming from a different background, brings valuable experience and creativity to the company. Pär Gunnars Risberg, who joined in 2017, knew all about “starting up” as he has previously established a successful sound technology startup – Opalum. Jonas Kjellberg, who is now the CTO at Gestrument, is a video game composer and developer specializing in VR. He’s now leading the development of Gestrument’s game audio engine toolkit.
Emelie Bergbohm, Gestrument’s CMO, is a producer, influencer and publicist. She also runs an interdisciplinary communication and production studio called The Bohm Bohm Room, with a focus on contemporary art and culture.
Jonatan Liljedahl has been the tech-mastemind behind the iOS app from the very beginning. He specializes in music app design and development and is the CEO and owner of Kymatica AB. Jonathan is also a composer and performer of electroacoustic music, with influences from noise, minimal, drone and stochastic music. Sander Sebton is the content specialist in the team, with a background in Digital Media, Marketing Stategies and Content Creation. This spring, they will also welcome David Grandström, a coder, to the team.
Jesper is still active in the international music scene, with several long-term projects coming to premiere this year. The two main collaborations of 2018 include clarinet soloist Martin Fröst and with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen. Together with Jesper, they have been working on extending the limits of what you can do in music with the help of technology. As Nordin puts it, they are “trying to expand what music is and can be.” That’s part of the vision for Gestrument as well, that also poses the question – what is the future of music? How are the new technologies transforming the way we create it? Can we build a bridge between immersive tech and art?
From the top left: Sander Sebton, Jonatan Liljedahl, Pär Gunnars Risberg, Jonas Kjellberg, David Grandström, Jesper Nordin, Emelie Bergbohm
Gestrument has been a part of Amplify since 2017 and it was a big turning point for the company as well. Gestrument shifted from mainly producing apps, and instead started to apply the Gestrument Engine to the Video Game industry with Jonas and Pär as key-players in that effort. But they are still releasing new apps and during 2018 they will release Gestrument PRO, which is the most advanced use of their concept so far.
Gestrument is now being used worldwide by both amateur music enthusiasts and world-recognized musicians such as Martin Fröst. Martin has most recently been using Gestrument during his tour in the US, alongside Jesper. Their collaboration explores the different ways in which emerging technologies can influence music creation.
This year, Gestrument will also take its first steps to becoming more than an iOS app. A new version, Gestrument Pro, will be released in the spring of 2018. It is an invitation for anyone to explore the world of music. Whether you are a composer, artist or creator – with Gestrument, you can create interactive music experiences.
Find out more about Gestrument here: http://www.gestrument.com/
Photos: Courtesy of the Gestrument team