by Hiroki Nishino.

American Derivation: Three Kings (Fair Use Portrait #1-#3) is a study of NIME (new interfaces for musical instruments) as a small artwork, which aims to embody the concept of fair use in the form of a digital musical instrument. Its appearance and sound output are derived from copyrighted audio and visual materials, which are transformed according to the guidelines of fair use to avoid copyright infringement.

As fair use is a concept originated in the United States, we utilized the materials by three American iconic singers (Elvis Presley, James Brown, and Michael Jackson). The digital instrument associates each physical pixel made of a Nanoblock(TM) in low resolution portraits of the singers with a ‘microsound’ (short sound fragment) taken from their songs. Each microsound is utilized to perform granular synthesis, when the user touches the physical pixel.