Last updated: 08:00 PM ET, Thu September 17 2015

Strangers Are Making Beautiful Face Music at San Francisco Art Installation

Entertainment | Gabe Zaldivar | September 17, 2015

Strangers Are Making Beautiful Face Music at San Francisco Art Installation

Image via Vimeo

Little did we know but people have been making music with their faces at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Granted, that’s how a lot of people make music — blowing trumpets, belting out songs with their mouths and beatboxing bass lines.

However, a recent post at Lost at E Minor uncovers a creative art installation that makes music out of facial gestures.

Not to worry, because it looks far sillier than it sounds, which is a great thing.

The art experience is the brainchild of Paul Pillitteri who posted this video to Vimeo explaining the project:

Now you can get more information on this collection of iPads that conjures some ridiculous facial expressions from strangers joining in an unexpected chorus over at The Sound of Emotion website.

It seems that the project saw its first life at the Market Street Prototyping Festival and is now on glorious display at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

The Sound of Emotion website explains the technology behind the magic: “The installation incorporates four iPads. Each iPad represents a single musical instrument and is installed with expression recognition software, courtesy of Emotient, Inc. Participants step up to the installation, see a mirror image of their own face and their musical instrument begins to play. Each iPad screen display provides feedback on their happy or sad emotions, while changing the musical phrase or pitch for their instrument. Participants may build on the overall composition, by inviting friends or onlookers to participate, with the goal of playing all four instruments at once.”

The outcome is a quartet of friends or perfect strangers smiling and frowning like facial expression composers.

So head on out there and make some beautiful compositions. Just don’t forget to stretch first. 

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