A NIME Reader: Fifteen Years of New Interfaces for Musical Expression

A little more than 15 years have passed since the small NIME workshop was held during the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (nime_readerCHI) in 2001 (Poupyrev et al. 2001b). Already from 2002, NIME was a conference on its own, and today it is an important annual meeting point of researchers, developers, designers, and artists from all over the world. The participants have very different backgrounds, but they all share a mutual passion for groundbreaking music and technology.

More than 1200 papers have been published through the conference so far, and staying true to the open and inclusive atmosphere of the community, all of the papers are freely available online. The archive is great if you know what to look for, but it has grown to a size that is difficult to handle for newcomers to the field. Even for long-timers and occasional visitors, it is difficult to get an overview of the history and development of the community.

At recent editions of the conference, we have seen a growing number of papers focusing on historical, theoretical, and reflective studies of the NIME community (or even communities) itself. As this level of meta-studies started to grow, we began to see the potential for a collection of articles that could broadly represent the conference series. This thought has now materialized in the anthology you are currently holding in your hand, or reading on a screen.

The anthology includes the chapter 2005: Towards a Dimension Space for Musical Devices by David Birnbaum, Rebecca Fiebrink, Joseph Malloch, and Marcelo M. Wanderley.

CIRMMT Symposium on Force Feedback and Music

Dec 9-10, 2016. See the symposium website for more information and for registration.cirmmt_logo2005onlyhi

Though haptics research in music is a very active research field, it seems presently dominated by tactile interfaces, due in part to the widespread availability of vibrotactile feedback in portable devices. Though not recent—with some of its early contributions dating back to the end of the 70s—research on force-feedback in musical applications has traditionally suffered from exogenous issues such as hardware cost, as well as the lack of community-wide accessibility to software and hardware platforms for prototyping musical applications. Despite this situation, in recent years several works have addressed this topic proposing software platforms and simulation models.

This symposium will discuss the current state of research and future trends on force-feedback and music (FF&M).

Speakers

  • Bret Battey, De Montfort University, England
  • Edgar Berdahl, Louisiana State University, USA
  • Christian Frisson, Inria Lille, France
  • Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos, Cardiff School of Art and Design, Wales [on career break]
  • James Leonard, Grenoble, France
  • Joseph Malloch, Dalhousie University, Canada
  • Julian Neri, McGill University, Canada
  • Thomas Pietrzak, Université Lille 1, France
  • Ian Sinclair, MPB Technologies Inc, Canada
  • Stephen Sinclair, Inria, Chile
  • Marcelo Wanderley, IDMIL/CIRMMT, McGill University, Canada

3DMIN Symposium

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Last week I was back in Berlin for an exhibition, concert and international symposium on Design, Development, and Dissemination of New Musical Instruments (3DMIN). The symposium was titled “Musical Instruments in the 21st Century — Identities, Configurations, Practices” and included a range of interesting speakers from the 3DMIN project itself and invitees like myself. The other speakers included:

Concerto for T-Stick and Two Laptop Orchestras

Here’s a video from way back in 2011 that only recently noticed on YouTube. It features D. Andrew Stewart playing the T-Stick as instrumental soloist with laptop orchestras from Concordia and McMaster Universities.

The piece was co-composed by Eldad Tsabary (director of the Concordia Laptop Orchestra, CLOrk), D. Andrew Stewart (T-Stick) and David Ogborn (founder of McMaster University’s Cybernetic Orchestra).

Interestingly, there are also a couple of videos online in which composer Kevin Austin presents the video and discusses the piece.

Ableton Loop

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I recently had the pleasure of participating as a panelist in Ableton’s Loop Summit in Berlin. Our panel was titled “New Instruments and Evolving Performance Practices”, and was organised by Mark Zadel – a colleague from graduate studies at McGill and now an Ableton employee.

The summit was one of the most interesting, enjoyable conference I have ever attended. It was extremely well organised – despite the fact that there were parallel presentations and activities, it was easy to jump between them and try to catch a bit of everything since almost everything ran exactly on schedule.

Some of my favourite sessions:

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