A few updates are coming to the HUB Gallery – including the installation of two new musical activities. Both were made possible by a grant from the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community to “bolster child development through creativity.”

Musical blocks 

The Music Creation Station uses four Roli Blocks. These music-making blocks connect to a 24-key Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) controller with a pliable “key wave surface”.

Visitors can play one of the four blocks, programmed as drums, bass, chords and melodies. Together, you create music like a rock band.

Electric sounds

Beamz is a laser-based music device, where each laser corresponds to an instrument or sound. Museum guests make music by using their hands – like a conductor – to interupt the laser beam. Electronic instruments play along to prerecorded music.

When the player removes his or her hand the sound stops. Although the player’s interaction with the lasers is random, the device will always be harmonious.

How Beamz works

The Beamz system connects to a computer via USB. Six laser triggers and two button-controlled triggers activate up to 64 independently controlled sequences of musical notes or events. When a laser beam is broken, the software program plays a musical note that is always harmonious to the other sounds being played at that time.

The Beamz System was created by late musician and record producer Jerry Riopelle.

More changes

The Gear Station has been moved to be near the Magnet Wall.

Also, the Black Light Room – which currently features a jungle theme – will have a new entrance in the coming weeks. More details coming soon.