Sergi Jordà came to the Dana Center back in June to take part in a discussion panel and show off his Reactable. The thing blows my mind so I felt very fortunate getting to hear him speak and to watch/hear him perform with it.

Sergi Jordà plays the Reactable

– Sergi Jordà plays the Reactable –

He talked about his motivations in creating it. Some of his ideas seem outlandish compared with more traditional instruments – the most striking being that it was always intended to be collaborative. Where most musical instruments are designed to be played by one person, this was social by design. At the end of his performance half the audience rushed to touch the table and play with the controller objects. A ridiculous noise came out, proving in a small way all Sergi had said about practice making “good” players, and the instruments’s flexibility. It’s not just a quick interface to lots of wild sound, it’s also a powerful musical tool the player(s) need to spend time mastering.

His performance was a wonderful experience: varied, intricate & surprising. Some sections had familiar dance beats based around loops and filters, but there were also evolving soundscape sections, near-noise drones and a lot of atmospheric expression.