At the Media Lab, we have recently built "Musical Levi's Jackets", with a touch-sensitive MIDI keyboard embroidered directly into the fabric using conductive thread. The video clip (11.8 MEG MPEG) shows PhD student Josh Smith demonstrating the jacket outside the Media Lab. The thread, embroidered into a standard 4 x 3 character keypad below the right shoulder, contains stainless steel filaments, making it conductive. The capacitive loading of the body is detected when the thread is touched; the keypad is polyphonic, thus several keys can be hit simultaneously. Sound is generated by a single-chip General MIDI wavetable synthesizer (made from Crystal Semiconductor of Fremont, CA), and sequences are generated in a PIC16C84 microcontroller made by Microchip Technology (Tempe, Arizona). In this demonstration, different notes are on different keys, with the exception of the lower keys, which change modes. A "0" turns on a percussion sequence (other keys play drum sounds in accompaniment); the * and # keys speed and slow the tempo. Another "0" keeps the percussion sequence going, but causes the keypad to now play tonal "voiced" sounds; the instrument chosen can be changed by pressing the * and # keys. The jacket is entirely battery operated, with powered speakers in the pockets. The keypad was designed by Maggie Orth and Rehmi Post, and the MIDI hardware/software was concocted by Josh Strickon and Josh Smith. Rehmi and Josh Smith can be seen demonstrating the jackets in the above photo.