The SampleBar - A unique way to preserve Cultural Heritage

In this rapidly changing world many countries and regions are losing their roots, and cultural heritage. Many traditional musical instruments are at a danger of facing exctinction. The young generation adopt to the western lifestyle and are not interested in learning the old songs or how to make or play the old instruments. In a near future no one will know how to make or play these instruments, or even how they sound.

In this project we are looking at a new and innovative way to preserve aspects of musical instruments that are facing the destiny of becoming extinct. We are using new Swedish innovation, a technology to uniquely protect and safeguard the world’s cultural heritage.

How it works:

The samplebar consists of a table with a glass tabletop and an infra-red IR reader below. The IR can detect blocks that are placed on the table. Blocks can represent different instruments and these instruments can behave differently depending on where on the table they are placed. Parameters such as volume and pan can also be affected by placement. Many blocks can be placed on the table at the same time which will allow many instruments to play together. Special software and careful preparation of the recorded material will ensure that the instruments will always play well together, even when the practitioner is not a trained musician. All People can through this technology in an interactive way explore the instruments of their culture.

SampleBar at the Museum of performing arts in Stockholm

The only two existing SampleBars in the world so far are located at the museum of performing arts in Stockholm, Sweden.
In the video to the right, you can see how it works.
The inventor of the SampleBar is Håkan Lidbo. Following a career in electronic music with more than 350 records released within numerous genres, he is now exploring new ideas with the same inexhaustible energy in the fields of interactive art, games, innovations, architecture, society, media, events, and robotics. He also founded the Rumtiden Idea Lab in Stockholm Sweden, where his team explore the intersection between new art forms, science, and society.

SampleBar Kenya

We have received funding to create a version of this Swedish innovation for a cultural institution in Kenya in order to protect and safeguard traditional Kenyan music and musical instruments that are facing extinction.

Daniel Mbutch Muhuni

Daniel “Mbutch” Muhuni of DebeDebe will be responsible for finding the local musicians and the instruments and for arranging for recording sessions. Mbutch is a renowned percussionist and music producer in Kenya and one of the founders of DebeDebe. He has held workshops in Kenya and several places in Europe and worked with a number of cultural institutions such as Alliance Francaise, and Goethe Institute. He has deep knowledge about local music and culture and has done research and documentation of endangered instruments from the coastal region of Kenya

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