Posts from 2015

Performance at DAFx


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.


Semi-finalist in the Guthman competition

I was very happy to receive the news that The Motion Composer, with my Particles environment in particular, was selected as a semi-finalist in the 2016 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 FourMs

During 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:

- Fun!
- 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 (see article here).

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.


Article in Journal of the Art of Record Production

Me and my colleague at the Music Technology program at NTNU, Trond Engum, have written an article in the 10th issue of Journal of the Art of Record Production based on our conference paper for the ARP2014 conference in Oslo (see post below). The title of the article is Unheard Sounds: The Aesthetics of Inaudible Sounds Made Audible, and describes our work with recording sounds with ultrasonic content, and then transposing it down to the audible range. Read the article online here.

NIME 2015 performance

As a part of NIME 2015 performance program, together with corepgrapher Robert Wechsler I presented a five-dancer version of Jeu de modes, with several of the elements from the Hi-Dance version, but where the musical material was made more coherent. Five local dancers did a marvellous job with combining Robert's coreography with their own improvisations. I will present the video from the NIME organizer's as soon as it is ready.

NIME 2015 paper presentation


The international conference New Interfaces of Musical Expression, NIME 2015, was this year hosted by Luisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge and gathered a colourful bunch of people interested in new instruments, interaction, mobile audio technology, robotics, spatialization, musical gesture and many other interesting topics. The conference was one-track, with presentations in the morning and afternoon, with poster- and demo-sessions in between. R. Luke Dubois and Sile O'Modhrain held very engaging and interesting keynotes. Together with my colleage Robert Wechsler I presented a paper entitled "Composing Interactive Dance Pieces for the MotionComposer, a device for Persons with Disabilities". Here is the abstract:

"The authors have developed a new hardware/software device for persons with disabilities (the MotionComposer), and in the process created a number of interactive dance pieces for non- disabled professional dancers. The paper briefly describes the hardware and motion tracking software of the device before going into more detail concerning the mapping strategies and sound design applied to three interactive dance pieces. The paper concludes by discussing a particular philosophy championing transparency and intuitiveness (clear causality) in the interactive relationship, which the authors apply to both the device and to the pieces that came from it."

The whole paper can be downloaded here.

Affordance of Symbiosis - IMF, Weimar 2015

As a part of the series International Metabody Forum (IMF), the conference Affordances of Symbiosis took place in Weimar March 5-6 2015. After the initial workshop (see post below), the conference started with a welcome by Metabody coordinator Jaime del Val- Reverso followed by a very strong keynote by disability culture activist and scholar, Petra Kuppers. Then there were presentations by several people with or without affiliation with the Metabody project. Among them was my own paper, entitled 'Aspects of Digital Affordances: Openness, Skill and Exploration', which attempted to map out two different aspects of digital affordances and relate these to both the discourse on NIMEs, John Cage's music and my own work with the Motion Composer. Unfortunately, I had to leave before the second day of the conference.

A video showing some of the activities taking place at the conference can be seen here.


Affording Difference: Workshop


The fourth Motion Composer workshop was this time integrated with the International Metabody Forum (IMF) and held in Weimar under the heading Affording Difference: Workshop with Composers and Persons with Other Abilities. During March 2-4 days groups  of people with other abilities came in and participated at the workshops, where we worked together with Motion Composer. Only me, Ives Schachtschabel and Giacomo Lepri was there of the composers this time. As always, we got to test out new features with the workshop participants. Above is a picture of Stefi in a session with Motion Composer's Josepha Dietz.

Hi>Dance 1.0, Dance and Technology


By invitation, me and Robert Wechsler were invited to Rome to do an adapted version of Jeu de modes at Hi>Dance Festival, February 2015. We were fortunate to work with the exceptionally talented dancers Dario Rigaglia, Serena Mannella and Jasmine Melrose. The festival has put out a promo video with excerpts from the performance, and the section showing clips from the performance can be seen here. Il Messagero covered the festival, also mentioning il "musicologo norvegese" in their article. Funny!


The day before the performance we held a workshop with focus on both our work with interactive dance and with Motioncomposer. Here, a picture with Francesca Fini, the festival chair.


HEVET seminar, Dokkhuset (NTNU)


NTNU has decided that health, welfare and technology is a strategic thematic area for the university in the period 2014-2023. The Faculty of Humanities branch of HEVET held a seminar February 12 where different researchers with affiliation to the area presented their projects. My presentation was entitled "Bevegelse, musikk og uttrykksglede hos personer med og uten funksjonshemminger" (Motion, music and joy of expression for people with and without disabilities). The presentation slides can be seen in .pdf version here.