After touring the community halls of rural New Zealand with Neil Finn and family in January 2018 as their lighting designer and technician, Kaysha Bowler had her own lightbulb moment.
What if performers could have a single unit to control their own lighting – an idea that would work in smaller venues and for artists who want more creative control over their artistic performance?
What followed is plex, her touch sensitive MIDI controller that gives musicians the ability to have real-time control of their lighting rig and aims to explore musical and visual expression through tactile interaction. plex aspires to encourage musicians to aesthetically interact and engage with their music, allowing them to deliver more immersive live performances.
Having just completed her Bachelor of Commercial Music, majoring in Music Technology at Massey University (which covers both sound engineering, software and hardware development, electronics, and concepts for developing new musical interfaces), Kaysha is now embarking on Massey’s brand new Masters of Creative Enterprise to research the market for plex, further develop her prototype, and ultimately commercialise her music technology.
“As a sound artist and lighting designer, my work currently manifests in creating my own custom-built hardware and software for musical expression. Being a musician informs my work as a technologist, which enables me to approach interface design from a highly unique perspective. The interests of the artist are at the forefront of my work,” says Kaysha.
The Masters of Creative Enterprise at Massey provides creators with the freedom and support to explore and develop their work in the burgeoning creative industries. By experimenting with emerging and current commercialisation models and developing essential skills to build sustainable careers, creative practitioners and their businesses will increasingly become central to sustainable economic growth, adding value alongside traditional industries such as tourism, education, and technology.
Jon He, Masters of Creative Enterprise co-ordinator says, “Technology is innate to the tools of our expression. Only with a deep understanding of it can we question our assumptions, extend our practice, and push the boundaries of what is possible commercially and creatively.”
We can’t wait to see what’s next for Kaysha.
(Photo by Mason Rudd.)
Enrolments for the Bachelor of Commercial Music 2019 intake are still open. To book an audition or consultation visit https://creative.massey.ac.nz/study/bachelor-of-commercial-music/
Photo by Mason Rudd.