Music, Space and Interaction

Explore spatial interaction in performance- and listener practices and colaborate in the development of a positioning systems as a human-computer interfaces for spatial interaction in a musical context! Using Interdisciplinary Improvisation and Participatory Design as methods, we aim to find new artistic forms enabled by new technology!

For an introduction with a bit of background, please have a look at these slides.

Research Questions and how we try to answer them:

1. How do we interact musically with space in improvisation
2. What new ways can be found to interact musically with space
3. How could these new and old ways be supported/realised by new and possibly hypothetical technology?

Interdisciplinary improvisation provides a great staring point, as it disconnects from established practices. Practical experiments shall be followed by reflective discussions. With introduction of the prototype in the second semester, actual positioning data will be gathered, and experiments will involve test audiences, to establish how the artistic intentions are perceived through the interface. But it is considered important that it is not introduced to start with, so that the workshops practices are free of its influence. Thematic blocks in the first term will be initially set, but participants are invited to bring in further suggestions!

This year we do things a bit differently:

This term's workshops start already on Friday afternoon with a design studio where we prepare gadgets, code, installations, and/or discuss ideas, plans, bugs etc. (16:00 - 19:00)
On the Saturdays, the results of the design studio are being improvised with. The improvisations are followed by discussions. (10:00-17:00)

On the Sunday form 10:00-12:00 the designs are being fixed/developed/changed to provide a feedforward loop. A shared lunch is followed by improvisations with the improved designs.(13:30 - 17:00)

These changes are motivated mainly in response to somewhat long waiting times in previous workshops whenever something technological needed setting up. The workflow should be vastly improved wit this new model. Also the feed forward loop should enable us to see direct results of their involvement.

Participants are encouraged to make written contribution to the running log/blog!!


MS&I in 2016

Weekend IV, 4-6 March
Oscillations: Sound is Movement, Movement is Sound

Weekend V, 18-20 March


the blog

The following blog entries are primarily by participants of the workshop, but if you'd like to comment as a non-participant as you think it's relevant, go ahead!

questions after the weekend 4.-6. March

The following questions are just some pointers, if you don't know where to start. If you alreday know what to write, ignore these! : )
After this weekends inoprovisation sessions...

1. Has your perception of space in music changed?
2. Have we used space as an instrument? How?
3. Did you try something you didn't try before?


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Here an archive of last years questions...

questions after the first session

1. When trying to move in response to music, in what way did musical parameters like, for example, loudness, percussiveness or pitch correlate to movement? If it didn't, what else did?

2. In the reverse experiment, where movements, dance or gestures controlled the music, could you describe the correlation there?

3. How did the existing, physical room influence your performance?

questions after the second session

The following questions are thought as starting points, if you already know what you were going to write, go ahead and ignore these! : )

1. I suggested on Sunday that space could be defined simply as a "change in position" thus implying that space consists basically of relative postitions and movement. Would you agree with this? Do you think our experiments confirmed/contradicted this?

2. In some experiments this weekend we played with closeness and distances as dynamic positions between performers. How did you experience this?

3. On Sunday we played with a set up in which we tried to see if the essence of a dancers movement can be communicated to other participants who only see the movement represented by a couple of hand-held torches. Do you think this succeeded?

questions after the fourth session

On this weekend we focused on Oscillation: Movement is sound, sound is movement.

1.) Do you agree with this?

2.) In experiments where we moved through the room, did you experience that movements on their own had a musical quality?

3.) We defined oscillations as "cyclic, repetitive movements". How has this repetitiveness influenced your playing, or performing?

questions after the fifth session

This sessions theme was "sound sources in motion"

1.) I think we all enjoyed the amazing acoustic qualities of BlackBox. Can you describe its quality, how the room as a performance space, how did you experience it, how did you experience sound sources in it?

2.) We used wireless microphones and diffused their sound to a range of fixed loud speakers. Did these mics help you in your performance? Did you use them yourself? How did youe experience them as a listener

3.) We discussed that sometimes we hear the sound source from the loudspeaker instead from where it actually is. did you experience this too? Did it bother you? did you find it interesting? Did you use it as a means of expression?

questions after the sixth session

This weekend's theme was on "Flow: the temporal nature of space". The inspiring environment of the Lume Media Center allowed for a very varied experience of spatial interaction, musically, visually, kinetically and multisensory. So this time, I think, it's just great if you can tell us your impressions...

questions after the ninth session

To start the discussion again now in year 2 of the workshop, can you tell me,

1. How do you feel about technology?
2. Do you use technology in your artistic practice?
3. How did you use/experience technology in our improvisations?

questions after the tenth session

In last weekend's discussions we diverged a bit from our plans, as we came to think about the importance of movement in our impros, and in particular, movement of our physical bodies: We were talking at lengths about the limitations of digital technologies when it comes to recording kinesthetic experiences. (As an example we used handwriting in comparison with type - writing)

1. In your own discipline, does digital technology limit your kinesthetic experience?
2. In our impro's, did you feel that the digital technology hindered you in your kinesthetic experience?
3. How did you experience the moving loudspeaker? (Gym Ball)

Also, if you have things to add about earlier sessions, go ahead! : )