The MotionComposer, represented by me, Robert Wechsler and performer Eric Naindouba, received the Special Recognition Award in the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition 2016. We were among nine finalists who got to present their instruments at the Ferst Centre for the Arts in front of a couple hundred people and the three judges, Pat Metheny, Marcello Wanderley and Allan Kozinn. The amazing Ken Butler won first prize with his arsenal of instruments, which were mostly made from junk like an old golf club, hockey stick, tennis racket, toothbrush, and much more. We were really happy to collaborate with another amazing performer, Eric Naindouba, a boy of 12 years with severe cerebral palsy, originally from the Central African Republic, from which he fled with his mother to the US several years ago. Eric took the crowd by storm with his musicality and sense of form. His first response after his performance was "More!". We are hoping that we in collaboration with Tools for Life, Georgia's Assistive Technology Act Program, in time can give Eric the chance to play the MotionComposer on a regular basis. Wheat Williams has written a review of the Guthman Competition finals on his blog. Read it here.
As a part of the Music Technology Program's collaboration with Ringve Museum for Musical Instruments, I gave a public lecture on the music technology of pop the 19th of February. The lecture focused on how new music technology profoundly shaped popular music in the two-three decades after the Second World War. The focus was on two new musical instruments, the electric guitar and the synthesizer, as well as the new recording media (LPs, 45s, cassettes and 8 track), and new creative and manipulative practices with magnetic tape and electronic sound effects. The slides from the lecture can be downloaded here.
I was lucky to be in the very good company of many distinguished performers (many of them from NTNU) in presenting a version of Jeu de modes, #4, for solo dancer and interactive music at the DAFx conference concert at Rockheim in Trondheim. Me and dancer Heidi Grøtte developed the version together during a couple of days of rehearsal. Unfortunately, my attempts at making a video gave pretty useless results, but here is a (slightly blurred) shot from the performance. For different reasons we used the 2D version of Motion Composer to do the tracking.
Guthman Musical Instrument Competition. The judges this year are Path Metheny (!), Alan Koznin and Marcello Wanderley (IDMIL, McGill).
The Motion Composer team is also happy to hear these good words from the coordinators: "This year’s competition received a record number of submissions, and the work of this year’s semi-finalists represents the very best in new instrument design, engineering, and musicality." (Leslie Bennet, coordinator at Georgia Tech Center for Music Technology)
Workshops Ringve Museum, NTNU and FourMsDuring Robert Wechsler's visit to Norway in October 2015 we did three workshops during six days; two in Trondheim and one in Oslo. All of them involved Motion Composer and as a part of that, my work with the Particles environment.
As a part of a collaboration between Music Technology NTNU, Ringve Museum and Ladesletta helse- og velferdssenter we arranged a full-day workshop October 8 for two user groups from Ladesletta. The first group consisted of users with disabilities and the second was a group of users with dementia. The workshop was very well received by both groups, even if we learned that the group with dementia could be engaged for a shorter time period than expected. This is a little bit of the feedback from the users:
- Just the thing for me!
- The only way I can make music with just me
- Want to do this more
- I made music with just one hand
Below is a picture with two of the male users from Ladesletta with two of the leaders, Marit Brodal and Ann Helen Hay Rødli.
The workshop led to interest from the national organization for the occupational therapists (aktivitører), and a subsequent interview is published in the Delta magazine (also online: http://delta.no/nyheter/nyhetsarkiv/med-kroppen-som-musikkinstrument).
The second workshop was open to students and employees at NTNU along with other people interested in motion tracking used in interactive dance. 14 participants took part in three sessions, dealing with practical issues regarding video based motion tracking (EyeCon and Motion Composer) and aesthetical issues and issues of mapping. Unfortunately, we took no pictures from the event.
The third workshop was held in the FourMs lab at UiO, by invitation from Alexander Jensenius, the Head of Department at Musicology. Eight participants, mostly students and staff with a connection to the lab, took part in a two hour workshop, dealing mostly with issues related to sound-movement relationships, mapping and technology, both on a more general level and more specific to Motion Composer.
Below is a pitcture of one of the participants playing the Motion Composer.