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These high-tech hammocks turn your body's motion into music

These high-tech hammocks turn your body's motion into music


Step into my sound cocoon

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Dave Rife and Gabe Liberti, are an artistic duo united by sound. Rife was an expert in architectural acoustics, helping to design the way sound would ebb and flow through buildings. And Liberti was a studio engineer, helping to craft the sonic signature of full-length albums. Both had a deep love for working with sound, but a frustration with the lengthy process of taking their product from start to finish. So they joined forces to become Dave & Gabe and began making experiential art installations.

The duo has created a piece, Hyper Thread, that will be shown in at the upcoming Panorama Festival. Participants enter in a silk-clad dome, where a specially buffered portal washes clean their sonic palate. If you've have a little too much loud rock and roll, this is the chill tent for you. Inside the space are seven silk hammocks, each with a cushioned seat. That seat is full of sensors that detect your movement. As you and those around you swing, your actions modify parts of seven songs that cycle through the experience.

Get into the swing of things

The songs are projected over 24 speakers hidden through the space, and a web of LED lights under the fabric play oscillating patterns of color tuned to the music and motion happening in the tent. I took one of the hammocks for a spin at Dave and Gabe's gallery, and the effect was hypnotic. Hyper Thread will reside in The Lab, a 70-foot dome that's part VR theater / part art gallery / part presented by The Verge. You can read more about The Lab here, and you'll be able to see it when Panorama kicks off on July 22nd.