Press play: music performance & release with/in multimedia frameworks

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
Location:
Date
2021
Department
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Master's Programme in New Media
Language
en
Pages
104
Series
Abstract
The conventions of electronic music performance and release echo pre-digital formats: artists on stage with their instruments (usually computers) and linear recordings that are the same with each playback. However, there are myriad opportunities to expand these conventions based on the programmable nature of digital tools themselves. The goal of this thesis is to develop novel multimedia frameworks for the performance and release of electronic music. Specifically, to underlie an experimental pop music identity and practice. A series of self-designed interfaces and performances are analyzed to determine the best practices for these new frameworks. These projects fall into three categories: audio visual performances, embodied interactions, and game-like interfaces. The performances "Beep Boop, Ha Ha" and "Conceptronica, Ontologica, & Phenomenologica" use their visual formats to question the role of the performer through checking social media “live on stage” and deploying Google slides as the visual content for automated electronic music. In contrast, the embodied interfaces "Fatigue" and "Why the body/why my body" require performer presence to control sound through stomping and heart rate. The game-like interfaces "Ping" and "Fling" rely on physical and audio-visual interactions, the former with a phone accelerometer and the latter within virtual reality. All of these works are analyzed based on five key measures: play ergonomics, system flexibility, performer/player role, sonic expressivity, and overall artistry. The resulting frameworks take heed of these analyses and combine elements from the audio-visual, embodied, and game-like interfaces. Each one is accompanied by a proof-of-concept. In the performance framework this takes the form of a software template for embodied audio-visual interactions ("EAVI"). This template facilitates bidirectional communication with a sound engine and can accommodate multiple types of sensor data for different embodied interactions. The prototype piece is a musical score as game that relies on interactive projections using physics emulations and skeleton tracking. The release framework is prototyped with the online game "postclub.club." Players enter this web address to visit a virtual underground club which is populated by wildly dancing mythical creatures. There, players can use mouse movement to change the sonic texture/view of the space and click on different lyrical paths to alter the song structure. Both the performance and release frameworks combine the functions of compositions, instruments, and games.
Description
Supervisor
Ikonen, Antti
Thesis advisor
Riikonen, Taina
Keywords
electronic music, performance, audio-visual, multi-media, embodied interfaces, mixed reality, NIME, games
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