At the first show of the tour in Herning, Denmark, Peter introduced the brand new technology of MagicCubes. Developed with RoboProfessor Henrik Hautop Lund from the Technical University of Denmark, the MusicTiles MagicCubes highlight the concept of SJ (sample jockey), to facilitate and encourage social interaction in music remixing.
Here’s how it works. Five MagicCubes are used during the stage performance. A cube controls either percussion, bass, guitar, or keyboards. Each musician rolls their own cube, and the instrument sample changes. The five sides of each cube control different variations of that instrument, with the sixth side switching it off. Peter Gabriel is controlling a Magic Vocal Cube, which controls different musical sections. By coordinating their cube rolling, the band performs new variations of the music as sample jockeys.
The MagicCubes system is a physical supplement to the MusicTiles app.
The technology of the MagicCubes is a result of the research into embodied artificial intelligence and modular playware performed by professor Lund’s Center for Playware at the Technical University of Denmark. With modular playware, users can easily modify the physical and functional aspect in terms of hardware and software components of an intelligent system simply by physical movement and coordination of many modules. In the case of MagicCubes, each module is an instrument.