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Cover page of EXPRESSIVE GESTURE : A TECHNIQUE FOR THE USE OF GESTURE DESCRIPTORS IN ALGORITHMIC IMPROVISATION

EXPRESSIVE GESTURE : A TECHNIQUE FOR THE USE OF GESTURE DESCRIPTORS IN ALGORITHMIC IMPROVISATION

(2019)

Music often conveys a sense of “gesture”, anevocation of motion and energy, which makes it dramatic, exciting, and expressive. One common challenge in the production of algorithmically-generated computer music is the question of how to imbue the sound with the excitement and vitality of liveperformance. In the case of interactive computer music, one has the additional challenge of programming the computer to interpret the expressive qualities of musicbeing performed in real time. This lecture presents an approach to automaticallyanalyzing and characterizing gesture in musical sound, as a way of improving a computer’s interaction with a human performer in a live improvisation. By describing music as patterns of changing parametric data, the computer can store and categorize descriptors of musical gestures. As an extension of that research, we can then consider how derivatives of that analysis data—the ways in which the data changes over time—characterize thegestural quality of a performance. In the algorithmic generation of music, control of those derivatives of change in musical parameters can improve the expressivepotential of computerized improvisation.

Cover page of Intentional Inclusion :Promoting Diversity in Graduate Study of Music Technology

Intentional Inclusion :Promoting Diversity in Graduate Study of Music Technology

(2017)

A lack of diversity among faculty and students in graduate programs that focus on music technology and computer music may unwittingly discourage participation by certain segments of the population, and thus may hinder the development of a potentially wide variety of ideas andaesthetics. Graduate student numbers of women and minorities in the field are proportionally low. In the absence of any concerted plan of action to diversify such programs, this state of affairs is not likely to change. What can be done to increase diversity among people succeedingin the academic fields of music technology, in the interest of hybrid vigor and social justice? By pursuing a conscientious policy of intentional inclusivity, some progress may be made toward rectifying imbalances, thus enhancing diversity of scholarship and creative work. This article makes an assessment of demographic imbalances and proposes some concrete steps facultymay be able to take toward improvement.

Cover page of Ritualized Performance in the Networked Era

Ritualized Performance in the Networked Era

(2014)

In this essay, I present a concept of ritualized performance as an ideal way to approach the telematic medium, arguing that many longstanding performance rituals share characteristics that can be exploited in networked performance. After delimiting a notion of ritual, I introduce three aspects of this performative mode that make it a valuable approach to networked environments: 1) democratization of the space (a concept I explore through Victor Turner’s ideas on liminality and communitas), including integrating audience participation as well as moving beyond single-author models, 2) hybridization of media, merging audio and visual technologies, and 3) interculturalism and collaboration across geographically-defined cultures and traditions. Many artists in the 20th century have explored these ideas to create alternative approaches to performance, and in this essay I argue that they can be extended in new ways within the telematic realm. Drawing on theoretical and philosophical writings by various

authors and three case studies by artists whose work is related to each of the aforementioned aspects of the mode I am studying, I situate these ideas in relation to my thesis capstone project, Spatia and seek to contribute to the body of scholarly reflection on performance ritual in the era of telepresence.

Cover page of Ritualized Performance in the Networked Era: Alternative Models for New Artistic Media

Ritualized Performance in the Networked Era: Alternative Models for New Artistic Media

(2014)

The author presents a concept of ritualized performance as an ideal way to approach the telematic medium, arguing that many longstanding performance rituals share characteristics that can be exploited in networked performance. The author situates these ideas in relation to his project Spatia, seeking to illustrate how the model of ritualized performance can be applied to the networked medium.

Cover page of A METHOD FOR COMPUTER CHARACTERIZATION OF "GESTURE" IN MUSICAL IMPROVISATION

A METHOD FOR COMPUTER CHARACTERIZATION OF "GESTURE" IN MUSICAL IMPROVISATION

(2012)

In the design of interactive computer music systems and the composition of interactive computer music, the tracking and analysis of musical "gestures" — characteristic motions discerned within musical attributes — provides a promising challenge. There are in fact ways that one can clearly and empirically define and identify "gesture" in musical content, often with conceptual models and tools similar to those used fortracking and identifying physical gestures. The analysis of musical gesture as "significant motion" can be applied to many aspects of music: melodic contour, notespeed and density, loudness, level of dissonance, etc. Gestures can be characterized by the shapes producedby measuring changes in these aspects, and the derivation of data about change, rate of change, etc. within a particular feature or set of features.

Computer evaluation of gesture may be divided into the tasks of measurement, segmentation, identification, andtaxonomy. What are the elements of musical gesture and how can a computer best discern them? How can a computer know when a gesture begins and ends? Howcan different, unforeseen gestures be compared and classified? Perhaps most significantly, how can a computer, once it has identified and characterized a gesture, attribute musical meaning to it? This research proposes criteria and groundwork for the tracking, measurement, and analysis of "gesture" in the musical content of sound structure, and the use of that analysisin interactive computer music.

Cover page of Determining the Feasibility of Networked Musical Performances over WANs, LANs, and WLANs (Part 1: MIDI) 

Determining the Feasibility of Networked Musical Performances over WANs, LANs, and WLANs (Part 1: MIDI) 

(2011)

In this study we combined empirical data about latency (delays) inherent in the transmission of information via the Internet with psychoacoustic information about the ability of musical performers to synchronize their playing and discern independent musical events. We used this information to determine the feasibility of conducting networked musical performances over local-area networks (LANs), wireless localareanetworks (WLANs), and even wide-areanetworks (WANs), including performance ofmusic that requires relatively tight synchrony of events. The experimental psychoacoustic and performance data we collected implies that successful rhythmically-synchronized networkedperformances can occur if the network latency is less than the time needed to perceive musical events as simultaneous, and less than the ability of the players to synchronize. These stipulations were usually met in performances involving MIDI transmission between two locations thatare less than 400 miles apart (where network latency is below about 20 ms). In a future article we will detail the latency characteristics of networked performances involving transmission of audio streams, In this article we restrict our discussion to MIDI streams, which is far less demanding of network bandwidth. By conducting our tests on commonly available hardware and software, we have shown that networked performances are accessible to both household users and university performers alike.

Cover page of Face to Face, Byte to Byte: Approaches to Human Interaction in a Digital Music Ensemble

Face to Face, Byte to Byte: Approaches to Human Interaction in a Digital Music Ensemble

(2011)

As a composer and performer of improvised music, I find my interest drawn to the relationships formed during the act of music-making. These relationships take shape inside an ensemble, between the performers and the composer, and between the ensemble and the audience. Using Digital Musical Instruments in musical performance affords us new ways of thinking about and exploring these relationships. These instruments also provide performative and compositional challenges which need to be overcome in order to realize a successful performance.

This paper draws on concepts from the Physical Computing community in order to present instruments that solve these challenges while also describing new strategies for musical collaboration. These strategies are examined in the work of early digital music ensembles The Hub and Sensor Band, in the recent work of the Princeton Laptop Orkestra, and in work I have completed with the Physical Computing Ensemble at UC Irvine. These ensembles are examined not only for how they use technology, but also what kind of relationships are created in their performances, how those relationships are influenced by their modes of performance, and what kinds of musical meaning we can draw from their performances.

Cover page of New polyphonies: Score streams, improvisation and telepresence

New polyphonies: Score streams, improvisation and telepresence

(2010)

The author discusses "score streams," a compositional method in which notations are displayed dynamically on computer screens and interpreted by improvisers. These works are informed by contemporary explorations in telematic performance and by the many methods devised over the past half century in composer-improviser traditions, where works by individuals are understood as catalysts for profoundly collaborative real-time acts of creation. Referencing polyphony both literally and metaphorically, the author points to a richly generative dialogue between recent histories of improvised music and new forms of digital networking technologies. ©2010 ISAST.