It’s a strange feeling, contemplating the future of music making while playing a drum set made of cheeseburgers.
But George Michael Brower‘s Playthings warrants discussion. The artist’s experience, created solely by Brower, drops you inside an awww-inspiring mini-game made of cartoon gummy bears, musical scales, jelly beans, synths, burgers, and snares.
It’s disarmingly cute, evoking Lisa Frank, Willy Wonka, and Apple’s Garage Band all at once. But Playthings also goes a step further than you’d expect in facilitating music making. A row of hot dogs replicates a xylophone, the jelly beans are really chimes, a few cheeseburgers form a drum kit — and the kit is almost latency free; the moment I struck a large burger, virtual drum stick in hand, I heard the loud THUMP of a kick drum.
With a little more sophistication, Playthings could go a long way toward shaping the way we think about virtual instruments as VR evolves. It isn’t ready for a wider release yet, but Brower is demoing the experience across New York and is soliciting sign-ups from would-be users here.