Calvin Harris and the Humanthesizer

Calvin Harris performs his latest single, Ready For The Weekend, on a giant human synthesizer made of, er, pretty ladies…

Calvin Harris performs his latest single, Ready For The Weekend, on a giant human synthesizer made of, er, pretty ladies…

Take 15 bikini-clad lovelies, paint them in special ink and put them in a dance studio with special conductive pads on the floor and, hey presto, you have the Humanthesizer.

To promote Calvin Harris‘s new single, Sony Music creatives Phil Clandillon and Steve Milbourne (who you may remember were responsible for the AC/DC ASCII Excel video last year) decided to use Bare Conductive, a technology developed by RCA Industrial Design and Engineering masters students Bibi Nelson, Becky Pilditch, Isabel Lizardi and Matt Johnson. Bare Conductive is “skin-safe, conductive ink”. When painted on the skin, it allows a current to be passed through the body without causing an electric shock.

“We saw the technology on a blog initially, and then invited the RCA guys in to demo it to us,” says Clandillon. “We asked if they would be up for doing a project together, and then it was a matter of waiting for the right artist / idea to come along.”

The Humanthesizer consists of 34 pads on the floor which have been painted with the conductive ink and connected to a computer via some custom electronics created by the RCA’s Matt Johnson. The performers stand on the pads, and touch each other on the hands or body to complete a circuit and trigger a sound.

Harris, his hands painted with the ink, played the main keyboard line and effects by interacting with a row of eight girls. The rhythmic portions of the track were played by seven dancers performing a carefully choreographed routine.

Clandillon explains how it all works in this video

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