Jon Rose has been creatively collaborating with Steim for over 20 years. Throughout that period, there have been a number of versions of an interactive MIDI bow system known as the Hyperstring Project.
The initial system incorporating ultra sound to MIDI was built in 1985. It has been updated with pressure sensors, accelerometers, magnets, and foot pedals in 1987, 1995 and 1998.
The Image-in MIDI to image and video software was utilised in two projects the Rosenberg Interactive Museum 1998, which featured the first use of a violin bow to control realtime video and imagery; and the Violin Factory 1999, which incorporated a live internet hookup and string orchestra.
In 1996 a major music/sport project Perks: an interactive Badminton Game was constructed with Steim custom built badminton rackets.
The Badminton court represented a simple analogy for the brain with the two Badminton players playing out the roles of the left and right hemispheres. The brain belonged to one time Australian musical genius and deviant, Percy Grainger, a man who created some of the most inspired and beautiful innovations in 20th century music while at the same time being capable of the most depressing racial bigotry.
The Steim sensorlab in Jon Rose’s possession has probably travelled further and played more concerts than any other; this robust piece of hardware has been used in many contexts, from Chinese supermarkets to Australian outback cattle stations.
Here are two examples: Violin Music in the Age of Shopping and Violins in the Outback which featured the embalmed hand of no less a figure than Mao Zedong: conducting the orchestra. Collaborations continue and currently Jon is working on the Ball Project which has at least three different outcomes incorporating game controllers actually built into the balls themselves: a netball game, a juggling piece, and a huge three meter ersatz planet earth in crisis.