Elliot’s M.A. thesis “Digital Musical Instruments: A Design Approach Based on Moving Mechanical Systems” dealt with DMIs designed to take advantage of passive haptic feedback, i.e. systems that produce haptic feedback because of their mechanical properties (therefore not using motors or other actuators).
The Gyrotyre was the first example and was made in two versions. It was described in detail on the NIME 2005 paper: “Gyrotyre: A Hand-held Dynamic Computer-Music Controller Based on a Spinning Wheel“. A video of Elliot playing the Gyrotyre is available at the IDMIL’s Youtube channel.
The second DMI was the Springwave, a spring held by a structure mounted on a hi-hat cymbal stand. The player can interact with the instrument by either pressing the stand pedal or (and) touching/moving the spring itself.
These were great examples of DMIs created in the early days of the lab. Note the reference to Joe Malloch‘s T-Stick as “the Tiger Stick” (it’s original name!) and the reference to Mark Marshall & Joe’s work on gesturally-controlled sound spatialization.
Also mentioned was the collaboration with Brad Vines, Dan Levitin and Karol Krumhansl on the perception of performer movements, later featured in a few articles, among them Cross-modal interactions in the perception of musical performance and Music to my eyes: Cross-modal interactions in the perception of emotions in musical performance.
Making music – as easy as spinning a gyrotyre – the article in pdf and in png formats.
And a video of an interview by Richard Dagenais for Global TV around the same time, with Joe and Elliot discussing their designs: