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Title: Designing a gestural interface for musical expression: notes on recent development
Author: Coimbra, João
Portovedo, Henrique
Carvalho, Sara
Keywords: Gestural interface
Digital Musical Instrument
Human-computer interaction
Issue Date: Jul-2023
Publisher: UA Editora
Abstract: As a multi-instrumentalist I use the studio as a performing and compositional tool, making use of traditional, digital, and augmented instruments, as well as microphones, sensors, DACs, and MIDI interfaces. This process promotes the interaction of different elements that make up the studio to favor composition through timbre as musical material. This dynamic process has suffered constraints due to my need to add new sound materials for composition. My Ph.D. project aims to solve this problem by constructing and mapping a digital musical instrument that uses gestures to produce sound. The Physical Computing Instrument (PCI) thus intends to optimize my composition process and foresees the manipulation of scattered elements in the studio while adding new materials. Being a project with a high technological bent, I requested the collaboration of the Department of Materials and Ceramics of the University of Aveiro, which will contribute to the mapping and hardware implementation of the device. For a composer that uses performance as a procedure for real-time composition, gestural expressiveness is key when thinking about the creation of a musical instrument. Bodiless instruments are great examples of timbre generators but with no direct correlation between physical gestures and sound. At the Research Summit 2023, and as a research path for the construction of the PCI, I’ll elaborate on the use of gestural DMIs such as the Myo Armband; the Leap Motion, and the Wii Remote, the primary controller for the Nintendo Wii, noted for its motion-sensing capabilities, low latency, and twelve assignable triggers. Their different technological characteristics can contribute to understanding the possibilities of gestural implementation, mapping strategies, and other features, in the PCI’s construction. For illustrating that notion, I’ll be presenting, several compositional, sound, and notational sketches. I also aim to demonstrate how the PCI may be useful for the growing community of musicians, composers, and academics who carry out research in this area, and for those not familiar with technology but eager to expand their artistic practice – experimenting with an instrument that will have a soft learning curve, will be portable, and that could be used to ‘augment’ an existing instrument. This project will also promote the sustainability of materials used in the PCI’s construction, and through the implementation of technical solutions, that will contribute to making the instrument a self-sufficient device, in terms of its energy consumption.
Peer review: yes
DOI: 10.48528/nd5m-mk87
ISBN: 978-972-789-892-3
Appears in Collections:INETmd - Comunicações

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