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


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:


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.