McLean J. Macionis

Sansa is an extended sansula, a hyper-instrument that is similar in design and functionality to a kalimba or thumb piano. At the heart of this interface is a series of sensors that are used to augment the tone and expand the performance capacity of the instrument. The sensor data is further exploited through the use of the machine learning program Wekinator, which gives users precise control over compositional form and the arrangement of sound and music in real-time using simple gestures. In this way, Sansa is capable of both solo acoustic performances as well as complex productions that require interactions between multiple technological mediums. Sansa expands the current community of hyper-instruments by demonstrating the ways that hardware and software technology can extend an acoustic instrument’s functionality and playability in a live performance or studio setting.