Biography

Major Projects

  • MicroJam (2016-) Exploring Tiny Performances and Prediction with Smartphones at the University of Oslo.
  • Andromeda is Coming (2015-) Improvised music and media duo with Alec Hunter.
  • Metatone (2012-2016) Research project extending ensemble improvisation with new music-making iPad apps, gesture recognition and machine learning.
  • Sticks and Tones (2012-) Mallet percussion duo that perform music from the ragtime era, classic films and video games!
  • Nordlig Vinter (2011-2013) A suite of compositions for percussion and iOS devices created by Charles Martin while living in Piteå, near the Arctic circle in northern Sweden.
  • Ensemble Evolution (2010-) An international ensemble exploring the future of percussion through composition, education and technology.
  • Last Man to Die (2008-2010) Cross-artform group that connect acting, drawing, and percussion through technology in installation/performances.
  • Strike on Stage (2009-2010) Percussion and multimedia performance using computer vision and augmented reality.

Biography

Charles Martin is a specialist in music technology, musical AI, and human-computer interaction from Canberra, Australia. He creates new electronic musical instruments that predict and extend performer’s creative intentions. His musical works as a percussionist and computer musician, described as “a thing of rare beauty” in The West Australian, have been performed throughout Australia, Europe and the USA and presented at international conferences on music technology and percussion. He also has than ten years experience teaching percussion from primary to tertiary levels.

Charles is co-founder of Ensemble Evolution, an international percussion trio that has been featured at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Lithuania’s Procesas music laboratory, and Canberra’s You Are Here festival. The group have released two albums of their own compositions, Sounds from the Treetops and Solstormen Live. Charles also developed interactive soundtracks and media for his cross-artform group Last Man to Die that toured Australia with their performance/installation work in 2010.

Charles’ work is deeply informed by the processes and structures of mathematics, computing and logic which he studied in his undergraduate degree at the Australian National University along with classical percussion. His first class honours thesis in mathematics was completed in 2008 with a focus in logic and computer-based proof.

In 2009, Charles completed a Master’s degree in music performance at the ANU School of Music in computer music and percussion. He went on to undertake further graduate study from 2010-2012 at Luleå University of Technology’s School of Music and Media in Piteå, Sweden. The otherworldly environment of Northern Sweden became a rich source of inspiration for Charles, resulting in Nordlig Vinter, his debut album of works for percussion and computer, which was released in 2013.

From 2013-2016, Charles was a PhD candidate at the ANU Research School of Computer Science, Charles created iPad apps for music-making and new networked software for mediating and extending ensemble improvisation through machine learning and gesture recognition. Charles’ research work was published in ACM CHI, the premier international conference on Human-Computer Interaction, and at NIME (New Interfaces for Musical Interaction).

Charles joined the Engineering Prediction and Embodied Cognition (EPEC) project at the University of Oslo following his PhD, where he developed ways to integrate machine learning, particularly deep neural networks (DNNs), into musical smartphone apps, bio-sensor music controllers, and self-contained musical systems. The culmination of this work was IMPS (interactive music prediction system), a standalone deep learning model for predicting musical gestures on a variety of musical interfaces.

In 2019, Charles returned to the ANU as a lecturer in computer science where he teaches computing, music technology and continues his research in musical AI. Charles believes strongly in collaboration between computing and creative arts to build better creative systems and train more “human” computer scientists. He is active in music technology outreach into the community such as developing autonomous guitar installations in Oslo and the electronic carillon clavier in Canberra as well as publicly releasing electronic music apps. He performs as a percussionist and computer musician both around Australia and internationally.

More information about Charles’ music and research can be found on his website: www.charlesmartin.com.au