Movement Meets Material—An Improvisational Approach to Design
- 940 Downloads
How can we integrate an embodied musician-instrument relation to musical instrument design? To answer this question, we have proposed a design process where musical instrument prototypes are developed taking a specific improvisation practice from contemporary dance. Over the course of four improvisation sessions, we invited an acoustic musician, an experimental electronic musician and a contemporary dancer to develop a solo performance with given material. Their improvisations inspired the design of three instrument mock-ups, which integrated movement, material and sound. After four subsequent improvisation sessions the process resulted in two refined instrument prototypes. Using improvisation as a performance setting, our developmental process revealed that for live set-ups the instrument benefits from a reliable system, which allows the musician to perform in a spontaneous and flexible manner. To further engage the musician with the instrument, the sound synthesis process should reflect genuine material sound qualities of the object. Emphasizing its identity as an instrument, we refer to this as material authenticity, a notion, which raises questions on the relationship between material, digitality and sound.
KeywordsImprovisation Design process Electronic musical instruments Materiality Corporeality
We would like to thank the three artists, Lea Danzeisen, Joshua Rutter and Tobias Purfürst, for their voluntary participation in the four improvisation sessions. Only with the help of their artistic input and feedback we were able to arrive at the above-mentioned insights and results. Also we would like to thank Till Bovermann for taking part in Session #4 with technical support in sound programming.
This paper is based upon work of 3DMIN, an interdisciplinary research project of the University of the Arts Berlin and the Technical University Berlin supported by the Einstein Foundation Berlin.
© All pictures: the authors.
- Bormann, H.-F., Brandstetter, G., & Matzke, A. (2010). Improvisieren: eine Eröffnung. In H.-F. Bormann, G. Brandstetter, & A. Matzke (Eds.), Improvisieren. Paradoxien des Unvorhersehbaren. Kunst—Medien—Praxis (pp. 7–19). Bielefeld: transcript.Google Scholar
- Brehm, M. A., & Kampfe, C. M. (1997). Creative dance improvisation: Fostering creative expression, group cooperation, and multiple intelligences. In China-U.S. Conference on Education. Collected Papers. http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED425401.pdf. Accessed October 14, 2015.
- Buchenau, M., & Suri, J. F. (2000). Experience prototyping. In DIS ’00: Proceedings of the Third Conference on Designing Interactive Systems. ACM, New York, NY, USA, pp. 424–433. https://www.ideo.com/images/uploads/news/pdfs/FultonSuriBuchenau-Experience_PrototypingACM_8-00.pdf. Accessed June 2, 2016.
- Burns, C., Dishman, E., Verplank, B., & Lassiter, B. (1994). Actors, hair-dos and videotape: Informance design; using performance techniques in multi-disciplinary, observation based design. In Proceeding CHI’94 Conference Companion on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 119–120. Boston, MA. https://designforservice.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/actors-hairdos-videotape.pdf. Accessed June 2, 2016.
- Crispin, D., & Gilmore, B. (Eds.). (2014). Artistic experimentation in music. An anthology. Leuven: Leuven University Press.Google Scholar
- Donnarumma, M., Caramiaux, B., & Tanaka, A. (2013). Muscular interactions. Combining EMG and MMG sensing for musical practice. In Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. http://research.gold.ac.uk/10634/1/marco-donnarumma_muscular-interactions-combining-emg-mmg-music-practice_NIME2013.pdf. Accessed May 25, 2016.
- Gerber, E. (2007). Improvisation principles and techniques for design. In CHI ‘07 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 1069–1072. https://dschool.stanford.edu/sandbox/groups/k12/wiki/73bac/attachments/4ffd6/Gerber_Design_Improv.pdf?sessionID=b5013b50d4dae144a4c570db24b9933747c64e87. Accessed May 27, 2016.
- Gibson, J. J. (1986). The ecological approach to visual perception. New York: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
- Hummels, C., Overbeeke, K. C., & Klooster, S. (2007). Move to get moved: A search for methods, tools and knowledge to design for expressive and rich movement-based interaction. Personal Ubiquitous Computing, 11(8), 677–680. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00779-006-0135-y#/page-1. Accessed May 31, 2016.
- Keep, A. (2009). Instrumentalizing: Approaches to improvising with sounding objects in experimental music. In J. Saunders (Ed.), The Ashgate research companion to experimental music (pp. 113–130). Surray/Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Klooster, S., & Overbeeke, C. J. (2005). Designing products as an integral part of choreography of interaction: The product’s form as an integral part of movement. In Proceedings 1st International Workshop on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement (DeSForM ’05), pp. 23–35. https://pure.tue.nl/ws/files/1913459/Metis197549.pdf. Accessed June 1, 2016.
- Lee, J.-S., & Yeo, W. S. (2012). Real-time modification of music with dancer’s respiration pattern. In Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. http://www.nime.org/proceedings/2012/nime2012_309.pdf. Accessed May 25, 2016.
- Larssen, A. T., Robertson, T., & Edwards, J. (2007). Experiential bodily knowing as a design (sens)-ability in interaction design. In Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Design and Semantics of Form and Movement. https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/bitstream/10453/7029/1/2007000387.pdf. Accessed May 27, 2016.
- Loke, L., & Robertson, T. (2009). Design representations of moving bodies for interactive, motion-sensing spaces. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 67.Google Scholar
- Loke, L., & Robertson, T. (2013). Moving and making strange: An embodied approach to movement-based interaction design. In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI)—Special Issue on the Theory and Practice of Embodied Interaction in HCI and Interaction Design 20, no. 1.Google Scholar
- Johnstone, K. (1989). Impro: Improvisation and the theatre. London: Methuen Publishing.Google Scholar
- Moen, J. (2005). Towards people based movement interaction and kinaesthetic interaction experiences. In Proceedings of the 4th Decennial Conference on Critical Computing: Between Sense and Sensibility. ACM.Google Scholar
- Mareis, Claudia. (2014). Theorien des Designs zur Einführung. Hamburg: Junius.Google Scholar
- Miranda, E. R., & Wanderley, M. M. (2006). New digital musical instruments: Control and interaction beyond the keyboard. The Computer Music and Digital Audio Series, Vol. 21. Middleton: A-R Editions.Google Scholar
- Nakano, Y., & Okada, T. (2012). Process of improvisational contemporary dance. In 34th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. https://mindmodeling.org/cogsci2012/papers/0362/index.html
- Nancy, J.-L. (2007). Corpus (2nd ed.). Zürich/Berlin: Diaphanes.Google Scholar
- Oxford Dictionary. (2015). http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/improvise#improvise__2. Accessed October 5, 2015.
- Redgate, C. (2015). Creating new music for a redesigned instrument. In M. Dogantan-Dack (Ed.), Artistic practice as research in music: Theory, criticism, practice (pp. 203–217). Surrey/Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar
- Redgate, C. (2016). Personal website. http://www.christopherredgate.co.uk. Accessed May 24, 2016.
- Sennett, R. (2009). The craftsman (3rd ed.). London: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
- Waters, S. (2007). Performance ecosystems: Ecological approaches to musical interaction. In Proceedings of Electroacoustic Music Studies Network Conference 2007. De Montfort/Leicester. http://www.ems-network.org/IMG/pdf_WatersEMS07.pdf
- Young, J. (2015). Imaginary workscapes: Creative practice and research through electroacoustic composition. In M. Dogantan-Dack (Ed.), Artistic practice as research in music: Theory, criticism, practice (pp. 149–166). Surrey/Burlington: Ashgate.Google Scholar