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This Music Is Bananas (Really)

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
February 21, 2013

Fresh produce has never been hipper.

Need proof? Check out this video of Brooklyn-based songwriter-producer-artist extraordinaire Jonathan Dagan, better known as J.Viewz, playing a beautiful — and just plain awesome — cover of Massive Attack’s 1998 hit “Teardrop” on a variety of fruits and vegetables.

J.Viewz is using a cool little circuit board called the MaKey MaKey (pronounced may-kee may-kee) that allows you to hook almost anything up to a keyboard.

The concept is simple. All you need to do is connect three things to the MaKey MaKey – a computer, a fun object, and yourself. By touching the object, you close the circuit, and a signal is sent to the MaKey MaKey. The circuit board then translates this electronic signal into a keyboard signal, which is sent to your computer.

Your computer can’t tell the difference between a signal coming from the MaKey MaKey and a signal coming from an actual keyboard. So this little chip basically allows you to transform any object that conducts even just a tiny bit of electricity into a keyboard key.

And if you’ve got a virtual piano keyboard program like this one pulled up on your computer, then you’ve just created your own unique musical instrument.

All J.Viewz did was to take it one step further by re-wiring the circuit board to connect with an electronic piano keyboard instead of a computer keyboard.

Cool stuff, right?

We certainly thought so, and plenty of other people seem to agree.

Since the MaKey MaKey was released last year, people have been posting videos of themselves playing sweet tunes on all sorts of edibles, including oranges, donuts and even seafood. But if you really want to impress your friends, we suggest you opt for a true classic: the banana piano. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

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