Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 24

December 2014

Contents

Introduction

Articles and Notes

  • The Voice-Index and Digital Voice Interface
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    The voice-index is discussed as a conceptual model for creating a live digital voice. Vocal feature extraction employs the voice as a live electronic interface, referenced in the author’s performative work.

  • Singing Interaction: Embodied Instruments for Musical Expression in Opera
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    In the opera Sing the Body Electric! A Corporatorio, artists from the disciplines of opera, dance and the development of new musical instruments collaborated to create an onstage fusion of different technologies and artistic practices that connected performer, scenography and instrument. Gestures and movements of singers were captured by custom-built technologies. The singers also used custom-built technologies for transforming their vocal qualities and for creating synthesized accompaniment in real time. In this way the singers’ bodily musical processes further extended their vocal performances, rooted in operatic praxis, allowing for heightened expressivity and emergent scenic subjects.

  • Emerging Technologies for Real-Time Diffusion Performance
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    With the ascendance of the field of new interfaces for musical expression, a new phase of sound diffusion has emerged. Rapid development is taking place across the field, with a focus on gestural interaction and the development of custom performance interfaces. This article discusses how composers and performers embracing technology have broadened the boundaries of spatial performance. A particular focus is placed on performance interfaces built by the author that afford the artist more control over performative gestures. These new works serve as examples of the burgeoning field of diffusion performance interface design.

  • Affective Audio
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    The authors discuss their interdisciplinary research, which investigates the use of affective computing technologies in the context of music, audiovisual artworks and video games. One current project involves the expansion of mobile sound walk apps through incorporating environmental and emotional factors, forming new sonic landscapes. What type of music could reflect driving through a hot desert landscape at midday or walking through a snowy cityscape at dawn? Through a discussion of their collective work in this area, the authors aim to elicit a vision of the computer-based musical experiences of the future.

  • Ritualized Performance in the Networked Era: Alternative Models for New Artistic Media
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    The author presents a concept of ritualized performance as an ideal way to approach the telematic medium, arguing that many longstanding performance rituals share characteristics that can be exploited in networked performance. The author situates these ideas in relation to his project Spatia, seeking to illustrate how the model of ritualized performance can be applied to the networked medium.

  • Album Apps: A New Musical Album Format and the Influence of Open Works
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    Since 2011, the term “album app” has been used more frequently by journalists in the music and technology fields. It refers to a new album format that at first seemed an invitation to improvisation; one could re-create a musical piece while listening to it. The result is that the roles of composing, performing and listening become nearly indiscernible in the album app context. The author also discusses the album app’s relationship to “open works,” a term that was coined and investigated by Eco in 1959, a period that disposed of different technologies to apply very similar statements.

  • Dataffect: Numerical Epistemology and the Art of Data Sonification
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    This article examines the history of sonification in sound art, focusing on the role that data play in influencing artistic creation and aesthetic experience. The author discusses sonified data artworks that go beyond the simple representation of information and that offer critiques of what Horkheimer and Adorno described as the dehumanizing notion of equivalence at the heart of the bureaucratic, capitalist economy. Concluding with a discussion of his installation Seismology as Metaphor for Empathy (2012), the author suggests that representing data through sound can engender powerful affective responses to the cold abstraction of information.

  • Electric Music (for Helen Keller)
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    The artist describes Electric Music (for Helen Keller), a performance of music for deaf audiences that uses four electrode pads of a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation unit to perform music directly on the body of the listener.

  • Moving Instruments
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    The author provides a brief description of a series of works using “moving instruments,” focusing on the autonomous mobility of the instrument detached from the performer.

  • Interaction, onde Martenot and Répertoire
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    What distinguishes the onde Martenot performer from the composer? How can one build a new repertoire for the instrument? The author finds the answers to in the interaction between performers and in a new form of collaborative performance.

  • The Mobile Solo Auditor: Personalization and Located Listening
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    The author considers personalization and located listening as tendencies of new audio media and sound art, particularly works using social networks and geographic user data.

  • Convergence by the Noise Index
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    The authors explore questions about relationships to information, more specifically how we consume, process and interact with the current deluge of data. This article examines their work in the group the Noise Index: Convergence, a sound sculpture that confronts the viewer with the experience of information saturation, and the line between meaning and noise.

  • A Closing Remark: On Several Technologies inside the Concertos Series
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    An account of the use of technology in the first two works from No Collective’s Concertos series to overlay a multiplicity of networks (piconets) onto the apparently singular space and time of the performance, so that various modes of “solo” audience may be foregrounded.

  • Skin Pattern Sonification as a New Timbral Expression
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    The authors discuss two sonification projects that transform fingerprint and skin patterns into audio: (1) Digiti Sonus, an interactive installation performing fingerprint sonification and visualization and (2) skin pattern sonification, which converts pore networks into sound. The projects include novel techniques for representing user-intended fingerprint expression and skin pattern selection as audio parameters.

  • Along a Duration of Time: Extending Human Involvement to Remote Regions of the Earth
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    The author discusses extending human involvement to remote regions of the earth, initiating a method of contact with nature via philosophy and new media art.

  • I Have No Mouth (pts. 1–6): Introducing Postdigital Spectralism
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    The author discusses the development of the work I Have No Mouth (pts. 1–6), an electronic piece composed within the schools of spectral music and postdigital “glitch” music, to show how composers can harness technological advancements to their own compositional and aesthetic ends. The author posits the compelling nature of a fundamental tension evident in combining these two approaches, which, he argues, results in satisfying and interesting compositions.

  • An Elegy for the City: Composing the Urban Character
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    Does a city project a certain inner character within the subjective auditory perception of the listener’s experience of its complex sound environment? This paper examines the artistic processes involved in the author’s recent composition elegy for Bangalore, which sheds light on the methodologies of listening to and field recording in an emerging and transfiguring Indian city toward composing its urban character.

  • Cracking Ray Tubes: Reanimating Analog Video in a Digital Context
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    This paper investigates the aesthetic potentials of analog and digital hybridized systems to generate genuinely new sonic and visual experiences. The authors discuss their use of the cathode ray tube as a technological and cultural platform for real-time performance in the context of digital screen culture and the digital glitch.

  • A Brief Introduction to Gremlins as Aesthetic Devices
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    The sounds of electromagnetic interference, or “gremlins,” result from interactions among objects in the 21st century’s sphere of media ecology. This article examines how artists use these sounds in their work by employing ecologically minded creative practices reflective of the interactions that created these gremlins in the first place. It analyzes three creative methods: the artist workshop, recorded music and live performance. The conclusion offers an original score for group-improvisation with gremlins.

  • The Decoupled Acoustic String Instrument: A New Concept for an Acoustic String Instrument
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    All existing acoustic string instruments are essentially vibro-acoustic systems that transmit the vibrational energy of strings to a resonator through a bridge. This efficiently converts the vibrational energy to sound radiation energy. The author has proposed an innovative acoustic stringed instrument, called the decoupled acoustic string instrument, and has developed a prototype. The most notable feature of this idea is that the vibrating strings are separated from the resonator and fixed to a distant rigid foundation.

  • The Role of Mechanical Reproduction in (What Was Formerly Known as) the Record in the Age of Personal Fabrication
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    The author examines the role of mechanical reproduction in (what was formerly known as) analog records in the age of personal fabrication with an example from his recent project cutting record. He investigates the creation of records without inputting sound sources by utilizing a production technique and a variety of materials, in conjunction with a discussion of a performance and workshop extracted from the project.

  • Dumpster Diving and Post-Electronic Soundmaking
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    The author presents an overview of his work, revealing how the socioeconomic position of the electroacoustic composer may necessitate dumpster diving as a means of survival that also provides a hidden benefit in fueling the creative process.

  • Fun with Information or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Objectivity
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    The author discusses audio/video interaction in his recent performance practice.

  • Synthesizing Performance
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    The author describes synthesizing performance from abstract processes, her exploration of the computational potential of performing algorithms and her development of audio technologies to communicate real-time instructions to performers in her work M.T.Brain (2012).

  • Discourse, Ideas, Frequencies and Technology
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    The artist puts into perspective the relative importance of technology in his work.

  • Convergent Technologies, Custom Aesthetics
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    The author anticipates how technological advances in the 21st century will give musicians the tools to further control their craft, while giving listeners the ability to personalize and share their aesthetic experience.

  • Art and the Uncanny: Tapping the Potential
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    This article discusses the potential uses and benefits of “the uncanny.” It begins with a historical definition and continues through existing uses within the author’s body of work.

  • Engaging the Audience: A Primer for Sound Art in Public Spaces
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    The author proposes and explains four “rules” for students creating sound art installations.

  • Sensation and Control: Indeterminate Approaches in Popular Music
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    Indeterminate techniques borrowed from experimental music can be applied to the composition and performance of popular, song-based material. The author makes the case for treating computer-based systems as collaborators in creating works that are both sensuous and cerebral.

LMJ 24 Audio Companion

2012 Leonardo and Leonardo Music Journal Author Index

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