Musical instrument consisting of a vertical hoop (the `halo') about 1.5 meters in diameter, mounted on a broad solid base. It is ringed with an array of piezoelectric laser motion detectors ringing the inner edge of the halo. The base has an simple audiovisual holoprojector protruding from it. The end result is that hand gestures are interpreted as music and light.
The halomin was originally invented by Anjou Sharavi-Kidjo, Interplanetary Age musical conductor cum AI designer, sometime during 2195 c.e. ( 226 a.t.) Apparently, his goal was to be able to perform his own compositions and lightshow accompaniment without having to work through an orchestra.
Despite the initial novelty, the device didn't really catch on until centuries later. A superbright playwright, Tayana Cernechka of the Bourgatov Alliance, came to the realization (some would call it an epiphany) that the audiovisual stylings of the halomin could be reinterpreted as a full-on language. The product of her efforts was something halfway between animated abstract art and written musical notation. Critical, if not commercial, success soon followed. Having to learn a language just to understand a musical production put a cap on the number of fans it had, but it definitely found enough to attain cult status.
By modern times, thanks to tachydidactic virch and instantaneous knowledge downloads, it had caught on enough to acquire many more enthusiasts. Like all other fads in a universe of fast- and slow-timers alike, the popularity of the instrument cyclically ebbs and flows.
The modern halomin comes in every conceivable size and variation; from room-sized variants that allow motion capture and full body theater to microscale versions that you need microwaldoes and visual augmentation to operate. Many of the modern versions have been upgraded with DNI functionality; some prefer the literalistic results. Halomin purists, of course, have nothing but scorn for such people.
Text by Chinedum Ofoegbu
Graphic by Steve Bowers
Initially published on 27 September 2005.
Page uploaded 27 September 2005, last modified 8 June 2007