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.

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Michel Waisvisz Talk/Performance

I just finished uploading some video from the IDMIL archive to YouTube: a keynote lecture and performance by the late Michel Waisvisz (of STEIM, Amsterdam) from the NIME conference in 2003. Waisvisz made huge contributions to the field of gesture- and touch-controlled electronic music, inventing and performing with The Hands, the Cracklebox, and the Web.

Here is part 1 of 6:

The rest of the lecture can be viewed here.

T-Stick sighting at Create Digital Music

Patrick Richardson at Create Digital Music posted a nice overview of the recent NIME conference in New York, including a description of my paper presentation there:

Joseph Malloch’s T-stick, also called the Tiger stick because of its many bands of pressure sensors, stood out from a lot of the other hands-on devices that one plugs into their computer. This was a padded stick, with sensors for vibration, movement, even positional pressure and twisting. Its most important asset was its ability to [perform] responsive positional damping. This meant it could be played like a fret-table string and a damp-able chime, and some things in-between. As a tactile and vibrational sensor, the utter simplicity (and cost-effectiveness) of its design was quite impressive.

I feel bad linking to his video example, since it’s actually a video of me projecting my video, but I’ll post the link here until I get around to uploading the original.