Big Thing


The Big Thing is a massive, child-oriented music construction kit that allows multiple children to experiment with creating musical structures, and then to manipulate and to perform with them. Big Things are made up of a two-tiered, functional base about three feet in diameter, which can be turned and twisted using sensing elastic chords. On top of such a base, children use a collection of hand-sized, soft, sensing objects, with a variety of functions: chunks each contain a musical fragment or parameter description; connectors establish functional and time-based relationships between chunks; poking areas allow musical data to be created within each chunk; sensors can be attached to the Big Thing at will, allowing body gesture or touch to control the entire Big Thing. Up to twelve Big Thing "islands" can be interconnected at a time, forming a stage-sized musical sculpture that invites group creative collaboration, and demonstrates through its physical form the basic principles of musical expression.