In 2009 I visited STEIM for the first time for an artist orientation/residency. At the time I was on a Fulbright Fellowship at Medialogy in Copenhagen, beginning research around pitched-percussion hyperinstruments. While at STEIM I got my first glimpse into the world of hyperinstrument design and rapid prototyping (STEIM coordinated my visit to FABLAB Amsterdam). This invaluable immersive experience allowed me a hands-on opportunity to present my work to peers from around the world and further my understanding of the broad world of computer music and new instrument design. This visit was incredibly inspiring and led to my PhD around the topic which I am happy to report is now complete. I will defend my dissertation on April 27th, 2018, which comprises a kit of tools for the pitched percussionist- including idiomatic 3D gesture sensing, audio signal processing, machine learning, physical modeling and acoustic actuation. The seeds for this work began at STIEM, and has now led to many publications. Please visit my Google Scholar page to view the full list of publications that this orientation provided much Inspiration to. Follow the project’s progress at my website: www.shawntrail.co. Much thanks to STEIM for the continued support.