The Routledge Companion to Embodied Music Interaction

embodied_music_interaction The Routledge Companion to Embodied Music Interaction captures a new paradigm in the study of music interaction, as a wave of recent research focuses on the role of the human body in musical experiences. This volume brings together a broad collection of work that explores all aspects of this new approach to understanding how we interact with music, addressing the issues that have roused the curiosities of scientists for ages: to understand the complex and multi-faceted way in which music manifests itself not just as sound but also as a variety of cultural styles, not just as experience but also as awareness of that experience.
With contributions from an interdisciplinary and international array of scholars, including both empirical and theoretical perspectives, the Companion explores an equally impressive array of topics, including:

  • Dynamical music interaction theories and concepts
  • Expressive gestural interaction
  • Social music interaction
  • Sociological and anthropological approaches
  • Empowering health and well-being
  • Modeling music interaction
  • Music-based interaction technologies and applications

This book is a vital resource for anyone seeking to understand human interaction with music from an embodied perspective.

Along with many other interesting chapters, the volume includes a contribution I co-wrote with Marcelo Wanderley titled Embodied Cognition and Digital Musical Instruments: Design and Performance.

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

Article published in MTAP

Now available online: Malloch, J., Sinclair, S., M. M. Wanderley. Distributed tools for interactive design of heterogeneous signal networks. Multimedia Tools and Applications, 73(2),  2014. DOI: 10.1007/s11042-014-1878-5

We introduce libmapper, an open source, cross-platform software library for flexibly connecting disparate interactive media control systems at run-time. This library implements a minimal, openly-documented protocol meant to replace and improve on existing schemes for connecting digital musical instruments and other interactive systems, bringing clarified, strong semantics to system messaging and description. We use automated discovery and message translation instead of imposed system-representation standards to approach “plug-and-play” usability without sacrificing design flexibility. System modularity is encouraged, and data are transported between peers without centralized servers.

Ph.D. dissertation

My Ph.D. dissertation A Framework and Tools for Mapping of Digital Musical Instruments is available – contact me if you would like an electronic copy.

Digital musical instruments (DMIs) are typically composed of an interface using some type of sensor technology, and real-time media synthesis algorithms running on a digital computer. The connections between various input signals from performer interaction and the parameters of synthesis must be artificially associated – this mapping of gesture to sound or other media defines the behaviour of the system as a whole. Mapping design is a challenging and sometimes frustrating process.

In this dissertation, the design and implementation of an open-source, cross-platform software library and several related tools for supporting the mapping task are presented. These tools are designed to provide discovery and interconnection between parts of DMIs and other interactive systems, and to achieve compatibility through translation and transformation of data representations rather than imposing representation standards. The control parameters of software and hardware devices compliant with libmapper can be freely interconnected without requiring any intended mutual compatibility.

Among the unique features presented is support for mapping between systems that include entities with multiple instances with dynamic lifetimes, systems which would usually require bespoke programming. A formalization of the problem is described, and several examples of real-world applications are outlined.

Finally, use-cases for the mapping tools are presented in-depth: the design, development and use of novel digital musical instruments for live performance.