Dimi-H system
Fig 1. Dimi-H consisted of 2 cameras and a computer.


Dimi-H was a prototype music instrument based on a three dimensional tonal space concept by my late friend Erkki Kurenniemi. The system consisted of two cameras connected to a computer and a 3D display. The input of the two cameras were triangulated to obtain a three dimensional coordinate.

Erkki originally proposed the creation of the instrument for the NoiseCity event of 2005 in Helsinki, for which I created an initial prototype by attaching two web cameras to a laptop. The basis for the prototype was Erkki’s 2004 paper “Chords, scales and divisor lattices”. I completed the prototype only 7 hours before the event, but it worked reasonably well. Erkki and I played the instrument live, although I must admit I was too worried about the prototype’s reliability to fully enjoy the NoiseCity experience!

Fig 2. Dimi-H at Institut Finlandais, Paris.

In 2006 I had an opportunity to create a more ‘production ready’ version of the instrument for the Finnish Institute in Paris. This version used two PAL cameras mounted to a Pentium 4 spec computer. Due to relatively low light levels a few adjustments were made to the presentation, e.g. spotlights were used to highlight the instrument’s tonal mapping space. The instrument was available to the public between the 9th of March and 28th of April 2006 as a part of the exhibition “Une histoire saccadée”.

A final version of Dimi-H was setup for the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki for its Erkki Kurenniemi exhibition in 2013-2014. The stereo camera setup was replaced with an IR depth sensor (Kinect) which both simplified the system calibration and improved low light performance. The software and UX remained generally the same as in the 2006 Paris version.

The Dimi-H Story in Pictures – Clickable Gallery