Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Proposal for the MA Digital Arts in Performance

This proposal, for the MA Digital Arts in Performance final show, will aim to explore human interaction and communication within the digital technologies. Sound examination through human digital interaction will be the main outline of this exploration.

Music, as a performing art, has distinct approaches for realisation and audience perception in relation to other forms of art like painting, sculpture, video installations e.t.c. There are two main reasons for this differentiation. The first is, as the world indicates, a performing art that takes place in a continuous time space. There is a real-time creation and experience of the art rather than a static and unchangeable, through time, experience like painting and sculpture. The second reason is that, music making, comprises a medium (instrument) in order to produce the outcome. Before the digitalization of sound and electronic equipment, there was a closer human communication and relation with the sounds. The production of sound was associated with the performance of the human body and the mechanical properties of the instrument. For example, a piano key will produce sound that depends on the force that it is applied to. This is also true beyond any musical instrument experience. Hitting two sticks together, or throwing a rock on the ground it is expected to produce sound. However, with the formation of electroacoustic music the last 60 years there was a deliberate attempt to disconnect the onstage causality of sound. With no performers in concert halls there was no direct relation of the causality of sound. This is debatable since electroacoustic music exists within the technology and there is no need for performers. Thus, abandoning any prior reference outside technology can help the formation of a new relation. However, live electronic music has a relation that lies outside the technological aspect and that is the live/real-time human performance interaction. Abandoning prior relation of any performance aesthetic practice, such as the causality of sound, will not form any new performance relation. On the contrary, will suggest unrelated causality of sound and will loose aesthetic values related to the performance.

The outcome of this proposal will aim to establish and suggest a digital causality of sound through digital means and instruments.

1. A 45-minute concert/performance that explores the relation of human interaction between digital instruments and sound. This exploration will take the form of improvisations and compositions with traditional and digital instruments. Various digital instruments and custom made controllers will allow this exploration. This will take place at the Custard Factory Theatre
2. An interactive installation that responds and reflects the audience interaction to discover sound and visual through interaction. This will take place at the Custard Factory Vaad Gallery.
The outcome of this exploration will help me to form a better practical understanding about how and why live electronic music and human interaction can blend a successful aesthetic performance. It will contribute to my professional development as a digital performer since the concert will take place in Custard Factory. This will force me to consider performance problems and solutions. It will provide me with experience and knowledge to continue this practical research at a PhD level.

  • Collins, Nicolas. 2007. Live electronic music. In N. Collins & J. d’Escriván, eds. The
  • Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Classen, C. 2005 (Ed). The Book of Touch. Oxford: Berg.
  • Cox, C.& Warner, D. 2004 (Eds). Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. London: Continuum
  • Chion, M. 1994. Audio-Vision Sound on Screen. New York: Columbia University Press.
  • Collins N. 2006. Handmade electronic music: the art of hardware hacking, New York: Routledge.
  • Davies S. 2004. Recordings. In Davies,S . Musical Works & Performances: a philosophical exploration, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Emmerson, S. 1986 (Ed.). The Language of Electroacoustic Music. London, The Macmillan Press LTD.
  • Emmeson, S. 2000 (Ed). Music, Electronic Media and Culture. Hamshire, Ashgate
  • Emmerson, S. 2007. Living Electronic Music. Hamshire, Ashgate
  • Ghazaa, R. 2005. Circuit -bending: build your own alien instruments, Indianapolis: Wiley Publishing, Inc.
  • Holmes, T. 2002. Electronic and Experimental Music. 2nd Ed. London: Routledge
  • Howes, D. 2005. Empire of the Senses. Oxford: Berg
  • Mirana, E. R. &. Wanderley, M. 2006. New digital musical instruments: control and interaction beyond the keyboard, Middleton, Wisconsin: A-R Editions, Inc
  • Nattiez, J.-J. 1990. Music and Discourse Towards a Semiology of Music. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  • Pateson, M. 2007. The Senses of Touch: Haptics, Affects and Technology. Oxford: Berg
  • Road, C. 1996. The Computer Music Tutorial, Cambridge Massachusetts: MIT Press.
  • Winkler, T. 2001. Composing interactive music: techniques and ideas using Max, Cambridge, : MIT Press
  • Wishart, T. 1996. On Sonic Art. Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publisher

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Latency experiment Stage 1

Hardware and Software.

As a starting point for this experiment it is wise to lay down all the hardware and software available. Working with the equipment that is already there at the VRU labs will be beneficial in two ways:
  1. No money will be spend
  2. It will save time as well since there will be no alternative root for thinking the usability of different equipment. For example, an old and slow wireless rooter is possible to give a different outcome that a fast and new wireless rooter. However, this debatable approach might take place in future, since it is not under the scope of this experiment.
  3. By using the same hardware and software it will show easier any dysfunction in the experiment be more apparent. Also, it will be easier to monitor the outcome since the hardware and software relation will be the same and out of any concern.
The next stage is to write down the possible needs for the experiment and to find out if there are available.


There are four locations so far that the experiment can take place.

1. VRU lab(Margaret Street)
2. VRU Studio (Digbeth)
3. Conservatoire
4. Tychonas House

There is an uncertainty about the functionality of these locations since I have to make sure that there is a possibility to undertake the experiment. So things to do this week are:

1. Write down all the hardware and software needed.
2. Make sure what is the availability of each location

Monday, 4 May 2009

Music Technology Concert, 21 April 2009

Study Approach No.1

This is the video from the performance that took place in the Music with Technology concert at Birmingham Conservatoire 21 April 2009. It is a series of performances exploring improvisation and digital causality of
sound between live electronics and the double bass (Sebastiano Dessanay)

Photos by Jonathan Green