The experience I am envisioning is part war of the bangos meets children's play date. It would be readlly great to get a few toy instruments working, so that they can be played together. The music should be playful and, using the toy controllers, punctuated with sampled sound. I'm hoping that the playfulness on stage will spread to the audience as well. Perhaps it will be nostalgic for some people, but I'd like to think that the experience will also live in the moment as something cheerful and funny.
Currently, the prototype is a cross between a see and say and a set of hot wheels. I've rigged up a tape measure to spin a pot as the linear motion of pulling in and out plays a sample. Basically what happens is that as you pull the "string" the wheels spin against the "string" and cause the pot to turn sending new values to a Max/MSP patch that maps those values to small bits of the sample. This allows "scrubbing" back and forth in a fairly intuitive way. The mechanism appears simple, but it took awhile to arrive at this moment mostly due to parts troubles and trying to realize the concept physically.