While still a violin student at the Juilliard school, Mari Kimura started to work with electronics, then went on to teach interactive computer music at Juilliard. When she found out about the new research on bowing motions by the Sound Music Movement Interaction Team at IRCAM in Paris, France, Mari started collaborating with them. Read the history of what led to her starting her project MUGIC® here. The picture is from her 2010 presentation at IRCAM.
In 2013, Mari inaugurated Future Music Lab at Atlantic Music Festival. Mari started using a IRCAM's prototype sensor called "MO" (Modular Musical Objects) with the selected fellows every summer. Future Music Lab is an all-fellowship intensive four-week program designed with a goal of immersing exceptionally gifted musicians into the world of new music technologies. For the past 7 summers, Mari introduced the fellows to using motion sensor, and learning how relevant to use movements in performance.
In 2015 in collaboration with media artist Dr. Liubo Borissov, we developed the first MUGIC® prototype system using commercially available circuit boards from Adafruit. It was made possible with the funding from the NYC Media Arts Center Harvestworks, through the grants from NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts) and ITAC (Industry/Technology Assistance Corp). The picture is Liubo with Carol Parkinson, the Director of Harvestworks in 2015.
In 2017, Mari was appointed as a Full Professor of Music at ICIT at University of California, Irvine. She headed straight to Calit2 to lead a Multidisciplinary Design Program to develop a hardware-proprietary prototype of MUGIC®. Mari managed a group of students from the Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering and Music departments at UCI. With the direction of Dr. Michael Klopfer, the Technical Director at Calit2, we designed and built the new MUGIC® prototype. At UCI, Mari teaches the graduate seminar titled “Composing with Sensors" using MUGIC®, and Mari's PhD students have been performing, composing and academically publishing on MUGIC®. Mari has been organizing "Listen to the Motion" festivals since her arrival at UCI, featuring works by ICIT students composing with MUGIC®. See the MUGIC® GURUS page to meet some of them.