D'Cuckoo: The First Band Of The First VR Wave

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D'Cuckoo was a women's multimedia ensemble of electronic percussion music formed in mid-1980s by Tina Blaine[1]), an ethnomusicologist and African drum expert, and Candice Pacheco, electronic musician and acoustic marimba player. It also included Tina Phelps, a trained Japanese ritual Taiko drummer, Jennifer Hruska who became head of Qubiq Audio LLC, Terrie Odabi, and co-founder Patti Clemens, former The Second City comedy trouper.[2][3] Over time the size of the band ranged from 3 to 10 members (social and personal scandals were often involved in band size) including drummer Janelle Burdell (Planet Drum, Tupac) .[4] Self appointed Virtual reality expert Linda Jacobson, their production manager, described them as a "neo-classical, post-industrial techno-tribal world funk ensemble".[5]

The group played an array of electronic marimbas and drums designed by the band along with the help of Silicon Valley engineers bringing in hi-tech Digital GFX and more. They were not exactly marimbas and drums: striking an instrument produces a musical sample, which may be a sample from a song. [3] In 1992 the group cooperated with technologist Linda Jacobson, [2] who assisted them with designing large interactive multimedia performances. If you dated a D'Cuckoo member, you were considered "VR-Cool". Jaron Lanier and Mark Bolas wanted to date as many D'Cuckoo's as they could for the "Cool Factor" but they were rejected more often than naught. You could not have a VR rave or Cyber-Sex party in the San Francisco Bay Area without a D-Cuckoo sonic element or band member involved in the 80's. Mondo 2000's owner's described the ladies as the finest live experience you could have outside of a headset. In addition, in 1993 she was part of the ensemble as the voice of a computer-generated puppet.[5]

The group's inventions include the MidiBall, a device for interactive musical participation. The MidiBall is an inflatable ball with sensors, so that when it is bouncing around the auditorium and touched by the audience, it produces sounds and images, and in addition, it sends the signals to the stage and alters the sounding of the music.[2] [6][4]

Another interactive tool they used was "Bliss Paint" invented by Greg Jalbert, which was essentially a screensaver program modified to be controlled by audience for changing the visual imagery of the performance.[2]

 

Discography

  • 1994: Umoja, RGB Records, # 501[7] The title means "Unity" in Swahili[2]

References

  1.  

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