A room full gathered at Rich Mix today for the launch of Visual Voice Pro, part of HMC Interactive and Drake Music’s Media Sandbox project. Mike Cobb of HMC kicked off the event introducing the software, a project they have had on the back burner for a while:
“Visual Voice Pro is an immersive sound to light environment for communication and cognitive development. By combining sound with visual responses, the software enables participants to realize the power and importance of their own contributions and helps to build cognitive and social skills, as well as self confidence. The different graphic settings range from bold energetic shapes to gentle calming scenes.”
Media Sandbox funding has enabled HMC to secure new partnerships and to concentrate on intensive R&D meaning that the first iteration is now at distribution stage with 10% of all profits from this boxed software going to Drake Music.
Mike invited Jools Holland, a patron of Drake Music, on to the stage to play the piano and demonstrate some of its capabilities. A private Jools Holland gig is a pretty good way to start the week and despite it being Monday morning, he managed to warm up the assembled music and software journos, creating a range of scribbly and mesmerizing patterns and inviting the audience to join in.
Jools was then interviewed about the potential benefits of the project. He described some of the creative and therapeutic possibilities of the software, both for people who have experience in making music and those who do not. I then jumped in to ask him why he thought schemes like Media Sandbox are important: “It is vital that government funding supports projects which encourage creativity. Visual Voice Pro enables disabled children to create music where they may not have been able to before, it really brings people together.”
Jools finished with more hearty support, saying he would be using it in his own gigs to illustrate the range of sounds produced by his singers and musicians.
More pics in our flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/mediasandbox