The Vocal Augmentation and Manipulation Prosthesis (VAMP)

The Vocal Augmentation and Manipulation Prosthesis, or VAMP, is a gesture-based wearable controller for live-time vocal performance, developed as part of my research work for the Opera of the Future research group. This controller allows a singer to capture and manipulate single notes that he or she sings, using a gestural vocabulary developed from that of choral conducting.

This glove was inspired by the character of Nicholas in Tod Machover's opera Death and the Powers. In the script, it is given that Nicholas has a prosthetic arm that somehow makes him specially able to do things that others cannot; following my group's tradition of Hyperinstruments research, we explored what would happen if this arm made the character more musically able. While VAMP was not used in the final production of Death and the Powers, I have done small performances and composed a few pieces using the instrument.

Related publication: Jessop, E. "The Vocal Augmentation and Manipulation Prosthesis (VAMP): A Conducting-Based Gestural Controller for Vocal Performance." Proceedings of NIME. Pittsburgh, 2009.

A demonstration of VAMP

The Amazing Rolo interviewed me about VAMP at Maker Faire 2009

Elly Jessop and VAMP at the Maker Faire from The Amazing Rolo on Vimeo.

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