The KEXP Experience is Live

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This post has been republished via RSS; it originally appeared at: Channel 9.

We've blogged about this project before, You're the Remix with the Kinect, but at the time it was a "Coming Soon" thing. Well now it's live! :P

New permanent light installation at KEXP reimagines live room performances with Kinect and Surface

Just as stars illuminated skies for journeys to new lands, a background of string lights has become a familiar touchstone for fans of Seattle-based radio station KEXP, where they discover new music all the time through videos of live acts that perform at its on-site studio.

It’s become such a trademark look for the station that fans often approach Chris Kellogg, director of programming and production operations, when he’s traveling to share their appreciation for the “videos they watch all the time with the twinkly lights in the background.”

Though a partnership with Microsoft, the station recently debuted a revamped room for these live performances that features a permanent, interactive light installation made up of nearly 2,000 LED balls that are organized methodically on three walls and respond to artists’ movements using Kinect sensors. KEXP video producers control each session with a Surface Pro 4 tablet.

“In the back of our minds, we wanted to tip our caps to the old room, but we knew we wanted to do something different,” Kellogg says. “This takes our old lighting design to a whole new level in terms of the look, the flexibility and the ability of the system, propelling us to an exciting space.”

This new installation appears at the station’s new home in Seattle Center, a sprawling city attraction that draws tourists from around the world. The new studio is four times the size of the previous space. These performances, which happen five times a week, are now open to the public through free first-come, first-served day-of tickets — another first – for 75 people in the audience.


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Thumbnail: Car Seat Headrest performing in the redesigned live room at KEXP in Seattle (Photo by Amber Knecht for KEXP)