No Diary: No computer music diary this week–your diaries are all done!

The aim for this week (and next week) is to develop and refine your final performance-in-progress with your ensemble. To guide your discussions, the theme this week is interfaces and expression. We want you to spend some time in this workshop showing your ensemble your performance and hopefully rehearsing a section to test how it works . We also have provided a short exercise focussed on the theme for the week.

Interface(s) are obviously crucial to performing with your ensemble, but it’s easy to implement interfaces that have a high utility or usability without being very expressive. As an extreme example, you could implement a system where everybody hits one button at the start of the performance and sits back to enjoy the music—it’s very easy to use, but doesn’t provide any musical expression.

It’s worth thinking about how interfaces give your ensemble-mates creative control during a performance. The plan for today is to explore this concept in discussion with your ensemble and make some critical comparisons.

You’ll need an HDMI output from your laptop in this week’s workshop to test out the HDMI switcher!

Goals for this week#

  • write down the interfaces and modes of expression in your final performance.
  • discuss with your group what kinds of interfaces will be in use during your concert.
  • Be critical about these interfaces. Understand that the value of a creative interface is not just utility but also expression.
  • Find some ways to improve the interfaces in your own performance.
  • Test out your laptop with the HDMI switcher as will be used in the final performance.

To meet the goals of this workshop, we need to critically assess the interfaces in our own performances. You’ll help your ensemble do this by splitting utility from expressiveness. Broadly we could define utility as what is being controlled and expressiveness as how it is controlled.

After an introduction and discussion with your tutors, here is the activity to think through your interfaces.

  1. One member of the group introduces an interface that will be used during their performance (ideally show/demonstrate how it works)
  2. Other members of the group: brainstorm three different sound and music computing concepts that are can be controlled by this interface
  3. Rate the “expressiveness” of control for each of the three different SMC concepts from 0-10.
  4. Calculate this interface’s expression score by multiplying the three expressiveness values.
  5. Do the same for each member of the group: highest score wins!

Questions for group discussions:

  • What does the following exercise help us?
  • How does it hold us back?
  • Can we perform without interfaces?


Creative Notes#

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