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Calvin Cherry wears his creation, a music instrument that is programmed to respond to body movement.

For the fourth year, Cap Times reporters have asked several Madisonians to share "bright ideas" they have for the coming year. We will publish the 2017 edition of Bright Ideas throughout the next week.

I’m pretty scatterbrained. I like making stuff, brewing beer. One thing I’ve made is “MusicFromMotion.”

It’s a system where you have wireless sensors on your wrists and ankles, and it tracks motion. It sends that data to a central computer, which converts that into music. You move around, and you make music.

I observed from MusicFromMotion that it was a lot of fun for people. Other people, though, weren’t fond of dancing. They were uncomfortable. Also, there were some disabled people who were not able to use it, which made me feel bad.

So here’s my bright idea: I don’t have a name for this yet, but it’s like “music from color.”

I got the idea from Neil Harbisson’s TED Talk. He can’t see color. He has a device attached on his skull. Whatever color he’s looking at, it turns into a frequency into his ear. So there would be one color sensor on your head, translated to a Raspberry Pi. And whatever color you’re looking at, it would create sounds.

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Most sensors pick up red, green and blue. So you get intensity on those kind of color spectra. There’s also a white light, something that picks up brightness. The brightness could translate into tempo, and the color intensity could kind of do instruments.

I don’t know how exactly it would work. Maybe red is a low pitch, and as you go up the color frequency, it goes up the music frequency. It will all be open-source hardware and software. I don’t want to make any money on it at all. It’s not for a commercial thing. I just like making things.

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