Mobile Computer Music for Percussionists / by Charles Martin

My master’s thesis, Mobile Computer Music for Percussionists, has been published in the Luleå University of Technology’s Thesis Database!

Here’s the link.

snowmusic-rehearsal.jpg

The thesis has links to a number of artistic works, especially a demo release of Nordlig Vinter (which is available on Soundcloud) and performances of Snow Music with Ensemble Evolution (Youtube).

Thanks to all the people that were involved in my research! Especially my collaborators who played in the musical projects: Ensemble Evolution, Christina Hopgood, Anders Åstrand, Nat Grant, Noah Demland and Matteo Spano!

Here’s the abstract:

This thesis traces the development of a number of mobile computer music systems and their use in ensemble percussion performances. The research is motivated by the challenges of working with laptop based computer music systems in ensemble situations. The aims were to develop elegant, portable, and flexible computer music tools, to make these tools accessible to other percussionists, and to discover the opportunities that they enable in performance practice.

These aims have been explored through three musical projects for percussion and Apple’s iOS devices: Nordlig Vinter, a suite of duo compositions; and two collaborative works, 3p3p and Snow Music developed together with two other percussionists.

Articulated from a performer’s perspective, this artistic research examines a number of software frameworks for developing mobile computer music applications. The development, rehearsal process and performances of the musical projects have been documented with video and audio recordings.

An ethnographic investigation of this data has given insight into the limitations and affordances of mobile computer music devices in a variety of performance contexts. All of the projects implemented elegant computer music setups and the limited visual interfaces of the mobile devices demanded simple but clear interface design. In Snow Music in particular, “percussive” interaction with the mobile devices along with an improvised performance practice contributed to a collaborative development cycle. This process revealed some of the limits of expression with the computer sounds used and led to a very successful series of performance outcomes.

Bibtex:

@MastersThesis{Martin:2012yq,
  Abstract =     {This thesis traces the development of a number of
                  mobile computer music systems and their use in
                  ensemble percussion performances. The research is
                  motivated by the challenges of working with laptop
                  based computer music systems in ensemble situations.
                  The aims were to develop elegant, portable, and
                  flexible computer music tools, to make these tools
                  accessible to other percussionists, and to discover
                  the opportunities that they enable in performance
                  practice. These aims have been explored through
                  three musical projects for percussion and Apple's
                  iOS devices: Nordlig Vinter, a suite of duo
                  compositions; and two collaborative works, 3p3p and
                  Snow Music developed together with two other
                  percussionists. Articulated from a performer's
                  perspective, this artistic research examines a
                  number of software frameworks for developing mobile
                  computer music applications. The development,
                  rehearsal process and performances of the musical
                  projects have been documented with video and audio
                  recordings. An ethnographic investigation of this
                  data has given insight into the limitations and
                  affordances of mobile computer music devices in a
                  variety of performance contexts. All of the projects
                  implemented elegant computer music setups and the
                  limited visual interfaces of the mobile devices
                  demanded simple but clear interface design. In Snow
                  Music in particular, "percussive" interaction with
                  the mobile devices along with an improvised
                  performance practice contributed to a collaborative
                  development cycle. This process revealed some of the
                  limits of expression with the computer sounds used
                  and led to a very successful series of performance
                  outcomes.},
  Address =      {Pite\aa, Sweden},
  Author =       {Charles Martin},
  Keywords =     {percussion, mobile computer music, mobile music,
                  Apple iOS, collaborative performance practice,
                  ethnography, artistic research},
  Month =        {June},
  School =       {Department of Arts, Communication and Education,
              Lule{\aa} University of Technology},
  Title =        {Mobile Computer Music for Percussionists},
  Url =          {http://pure.ltu.se/portal/files/37021660/LTU-EX-2012-36941424.pdf},
  Year =         2012
}