The Reactable was conceived as an instrument to bring back the expressive possibilities of traditional instruments to musicians who are working with new technologies. It uses concepts of modular synthesis, sampling, advanced digital effects processing, and DJ-ing and combines them with modern human computer interaction, multitouch technology and a tangible interface.
“We created Reactable Systems with the vision to redefine the way we interact with computers.
Using the knowledge we gained through the Reactable musical instrument we are developing intuitive products focused on the promotion of creativity and the mediation of culture. In order to achieve this we are applying the latest technologies in human computer interaction, music technology, graphics and computer vision.
The Reactable was conceived and developed since 2003 by a research team at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. Sergi Jordà, Martin Kaltenbrunner, Günter Geiger and Marcos Alonso presented their creation for the first time in a public concert at the International Computer Music Conference 2005 in Barcelona.”
“After this successful introduction to the research community, the instrument got known to a wider audience when the team released several demonstration videos on Youtube in late 2006, which up to now have been watched by more than four million people. This includes eminent musicians such as Icelandic singer-songwriter Björk, who after seeing the demonstration videos, successfully incorporated the Reactable on her last 18-months world tour Volta, where Damian Taylor played the Reactable at the big stage during about 80 concerts. In parallel, during the last two years, the Reactable team has given more than 150 presentations and concerts in more than 30 countries.
Following an overwhelming response within the blogosphere, the Reactable was featured in various major TV and print magazines, becoming one of the most popular and worldwide acclaimed new musical instruments of the early 21st century. Declared the Hot Instrument of the Year by the Rolling Stone Magazine (2007), the Reactable has also received several prestigious international awards such as the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Digital Musics (2008), two D&AD Yellow Pencil Awards (2008), the MIDEM Hottest Music Biz Start-Up Award (2008) or the prize Ciutat de Barcelona (2007).”