Featured Artist: Jess Godwin and Makey Makey Musical Rainbow

July 16, 2021

Jess Godwin, an artist and musician we follow on Instagram is working on a full series using Makey Makey to create beautiful and colorful videos. (If you like the videos, consider supporting Jess on Patreon!) She reprogrammed the inputs on Makey Makey to be key commands for her midi controller, plus she's sampled her own voice for each input. This work is so delightful and we are happy to share it with you!

Check out her amazing series so far.

Lime Green

 

  

Peep Purple 

 

Balloon Blue 

  

Jalapeño Green

 

Sailing on LEGO blue

 

 

We asked her a little about these videos and what inspired her.

First off.... WE LOVE THESE VIDEOS! What inspired you to make these color pop videos?

"This series, Color Pop, happened for all of the reasons and none of the reasons! Simple answer: Chicago winters get pretty dark, and I needed something bright and fun in my life. Giving myself a series challenge ensured that I’d actually make it. 
Not so simple answer: I was really lost PRE-pandemic. I had been programmed into believing that my art only ever had value if it was educating someone, making someone feel better, or lifting someone else’s art up. (Or making a ton of money, of course...) Many, many good things came from that time, and I have a deep love for the people I worked with, but all of this came at a great cost to my heart. Exclusively living to please or be liked by others is...destabilizing. I don’t recommend it to anyone. 
2020 gave me time to slow down and remember that "kid me" only ever wanted to create her own worlds and sing. I don’t ever want to let that kid go again. As scary as it is to triple down on being an artist, that’s the only way I want to live going forward. So I made 90 music videos to remind myself that I build worlds and I sing in them and I do it because I LOVE IT."

Wow. That is so cool to think about. That you can make your own worlds and sing in those worlds. Make sure "Kid You" stays healthy! We are big fans of this imaginitive worlds you are creating!

Can you tell us more about your background as a video artist?

"It’s weird having someone ask me about being a video artist! It was not a direction I ever planned on taking. I got stuck in the music industry tango back in my 20s and got to a point where I wanted to continue to make my music visual, but I couldn’t afford to pay people to do it anymore. I also didn’t love having photos and videos taken of me through the male gaze. So, I enrolled in Youtube University and figured out how to film and produce myself.
Theatre will never stop being a part of who I am, so I started building proscenium-style music video sets and making one-take videos. I love the challenge every video and looping set up presents to me. I think that’s why I love Makey Makey so much - there’s always a challenge, redirect, or reroute to work through. The challenge always makes the finished product that much sweeter. "

Love to hear that tinkering with Makey Makey and being challenged is what pushes you to make great art!

How did you learn about Makey Makey? How long have you been using it?

"I started seeing some amazing fruit loop videos online two years ago! Overly ambitious, I got it in my head that I was going to create a Big-style piano using 2 white yoga mats and silk flowers. I had the whole thing cut out and glued, I had the Makey Makey gear...and then life happened. RIP yoga mat piano, wherever you are. I was so excited to pull your product out for Color Pop this year! The first time I managed to route my voice samples to the blue legos (or the cardboard foil sandwiches underneath them), I was so happy, I couldn’t stop laughing! "

Isn't that the best? When you discover a new combination of conductors and insulators and it creates spontaneous laughter? Remind us to show you our bread board made with literal bread!

Last but not least....What is your DAW set up like?

"I’ve gone back and forth between Ableton and Logic for years, but Ableton will always be my greatest love! It has been an incredible asset to performing live. I’m currently developing a one-woman looping musical using Ableton. I’m also a huge fan of my Novation launchpad, Launchkey, Focusrite interface, and most importantly, a Neumann mic for my vocals, thanks to a 2019 sour cream jingle check."

Thanks for sharing more info about this intriguing series. We can't wait to see more!

 

Interested in Making Makey Makey Music?

Check out some of these guides to get started making Makey Makey music today!
  • Makey Makey Sampler: Try out our new sampler app to plug and play music samples. Record your own sample pack and play with any everyday conductive items like fruit, water, even peeps!

  • Garageband Guide by Frazer Merrick:  Use this guide to create and control your very own backing track with stomping pads and Garageband.

  • Ableton Controller Guide by Frazer Merrick: Create your own Ableton controller with Makey Makey and you can trigger samples, control loops and play beats with this arcade inspired device. Using arcade buttons and a Makey Makey, you can build your own custom controller and perform electronic music live, all with the push of an arcade button.  

 

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