Category Archives: Publications

New Book: “A NIME Reader”

I am happy to announce that Springer has now released a book that I have been co-editing with Michael J. Lyons: “A NIME Reader: Fifteen Years of New Interfaces for Musical Expression“. From the book cover:

What is a musical instrument? What are the musical instruments of the future? This anthology presents thirty papers selected from the fifteen year long history of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME). NIME is a leading music technology conference, and an important venue for researchers and artists to present and discuss their explorations of musical instruments and technologies.

Each of the papers is followed by commentaries written by the original authors and by leading experts. The volume covers important developments in the field, including the earliest reports of instruments like the reacTable, Overtone Violin, Pebblebox, and Plank. There are also numerous papers presenting new development platforms and technologies, as well as critical reflections, theoretical analyses and artistic experiences.

The anthology is intended for newcomers who want to get an overview of recent advances in music technology. The historical traces, meta-discussions and reflections will also be of interest for longtime NIME participants. The book thus serves both as a survey of influential past work and as a starting point for new and exciting future developments.

The ebook (PDF/epub) is a free download for all institutions/libraries affiliated with Springer Link.

New SMC paper: Optical or Inertial? Evaluation of Two Motion Capture Systems for Studies of Dancing to Electronic Dance Music

2015-08-12_18-04-34My colleague Ragnhild Torvanger Solberg and I presented a paper at the Sound and Music Computing conference in Hamburg last week called: “Optical or Inertial? Evaluation of Two Motion Capture Systems for Studies of Dancing to Electronic Dance Music“.

This is a methodological paper, trying to summarize our experiences with using our Qualisys motion capture system for group dance studies. We have two other papers in the pipeline that describes the actual data from the experiments in question. The happy story in the SMC paper is that it is, indeed, possible to get good tracking with multiple people, although it requires quite some fine tuning of the system.

Download: Fulltext (PDF)

Abstract: What type of motion capture system is best suited for studying dancing to electronic dance music? The paper discusses positive and negative sides of using camera-based and sensor-based motion tracking systems for group studies of dancers. This is exemplified through experiments with a Qualisys infrared motion capture system being used alongside a set of small inertial trackers from Axivity and regular video recordings. The conclusion is that it is possible to fine-tune an infrared tracking system to work satisfactory for group studies of complex body motion in a “club-like” environment. For ecological studies in a real club setting, however, inertial tracking is the most scalable and flexible solution.

Citation: Solberg, R. T., & Jensenius, Alexander Refsum, A. R. (2016). Optical or Inertial? Evaluation of Two Motion Capture Systems for Studies of Dancing to Electronic Dance Music. In Proceedings of the Sound and Music Computing Conference (pp. 469–474). Hamburg.

BibTeX
@inproceedings{solberg_optical_2016,
address = {Hamburg},
title = {Optical or {Inertial}? {Evaluation} of {Two} {Motion} {Capture} {Systems} for {Studies} of {Dancing} to {Electronic} {Dance} {Music}},
isbn = {978-3-00-053700-4},
abstract = {What type of motion capture system is best suited for studying dancing to electronic dance music? The paper discusses positive and negative sides of using camera-based and sensor-based motion tracking systems for group studies of dancers. This is exemplified through experiments with a Qualisys infrared motion capture system being used alongside a set of small inertial trackers from Axivity and regular video recordings. The conclusion is that it is possible to fine-tune an infrared tracking system to work satisfactory for group studies of complex body motion in a “club-like” environment. For ecological studies in a real club setting, however, inertial tracking is the most scalable and flexible solution.},
booktitle = {Proceedings of the {Sound} and {Music} {Computing} {Conference}},
author = {Solberg, Ragnhild Torvanger and Jensenius, Alexander Refsum, Alexander Refsum},
year = {2016},
pages = {469--474},

New NIME paper: “The ‘Virtualmonium’: an instrument for classical sound diffusion over a virtual loudspeaker orchestra”

The third NIME contribution from the fourMs lab this year was the paper:

The ‘Virtualmonium’: an instrument for classical sound diffusion over a virtual loudspeaker orchestra

Despite increasingly accessible and user-friendly multi-channel compositional tools, many composers still choose stereo formats for their work, where the compositional process is allied to diffusion performance over a ‘classical’ loudspeaker orchestra. Although such orchestras remain common within UK institutions as well as in France, they are in decline in the rest of the world. In contrast, permanent, high-density loudspeaker arrays are on the rise, as is the practical application of 3-D audio technologies. Looking to the future, we need to reconcile the performance of historical and new stereo works, side-byside native 3-D compositions. In anticipation of this growing need, we have designed and tested a prototype ‘Virtualmonium’. The Virtualmonium is an instrument for classical diffusion performance over an acousmonium emulated in higher-order Ambisonics. It allows composers to custom-design loudspeaker orchestra emulations for the performance of their works, rehearse and refine performances off-site, and perform classical repertoire alongside native 3-D formats in the same concert. This paper describes the technical design of the Virtualmonium, assesses the success of the prototype in some preliminary listening tests and concerts, and speculates how the instrument can further composition and performance practice.

Reference
Barrett, N., & Jensenius, A. R. (2016). The “Virtualmonium”: an instrument for classical sound diffusion over a virtual loudspeaker orchestra. In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces For Musical Expression (pp. 55–60). Brisbane.

BibTeX

@inproceedings{barrett_virtualmonium:_2016,
    address = {Brisbane},
    title = {The ‘{Virtualmonium}’: an instrument for classical sound diffusion over a virtual loudspeaker orchestra},
    abstract = {Despite increasingly accessible and user-friendly multi-channel compositional tools, many composers still choose stereo formats for their work, where the compositional process is allied to diffusion performance over a ‘classical’ loudspeaker orchestra. Although such orchestras remain common within UK institutions as well as in France, they are in decline in the rest of the world. In contrast, permanent, high-density loudspeaker arrays are on the rise, as is the practical application of 3-D audio technologies. Looking to the future, we need to reconcile the performance of historical and new stereo works, side-byside native 3-D compositions. In anticipation of this growing need, we have designed and tested a prototype ‘Virtualmonium’. The Virtualmonium is an instrument for classical diffusion performance over an acousmonium emulated in higher-order Ambisonics. It allows composers to custom-design loudspeaker orchestra emulations for the performance of their works, rehearse and refine performances off-site, and perform classical repertoire alongside native 3-D formats in the same concert. This paper describes the technical design of the Virtualmonium, assesses the success of the prototype in some preliminary listening tests and concerts, and speculates how the instrument can further composition and performance practice.},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the {International} {Conference} on {New} {Interfaces} {For} {Musical} {Expression}},
    author = {Barrett, Natasha and Jensenius, Alexander Refsum},
    year = {2016},
    pages = {55--60},
    file = {Barrett_Jensenius_2016_The_‘Virtualmonium’.pdf:/home/alexarje/Dropbox/Reference/Zotero/Barrett_Jensenius/Barrett_Jensenius_2016_The_‘Virtualmonium’.pdf:application/pdf}
}

New paper: “NIMEhub: Toward a Repository for Sharing and Archiving Instrument Designs”

At NIME we have a large archive of the conference proceedings, but we do not (yet) have a proper repository for instrument designs. For that reason I took part in a workshop on Monday with the aim to lay the groundwork for a new repository:

NIMEhub: Toward a Repository for Sharing and Archiving Instrument Designs [PDF]

This workshop will explore the potential creation of a community database of digital musical instrument (DMI) designs. In other research communities, reproducible research practices are common, including open-source software, open datasets, established evaluation methods and community standards for research practice. NIME could benefit from similar practices, both to share ideas amongst geographically distant researchers and to maintain instrument designs after their first performances. However, the needs of NIME are different from other communities on account of NIME’s reliance on custom hardware designs and the interdependence of technology and arts practice. This half-day workshop will promote a community discussion of the potential benefits and challenges of a DMI repository and plan concrete steps toward its implementation.

Reference
McPherson, A. P., Berdahl, E., Lyons, M. J., Jensenius, A. R., Bukvic, I. I., & Knudsen, A. (2016). NIMEhub: Toward a Repository for Sharing and Archiving Instrument Designs. In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces For Musical Expression. Brisbane.

BibTeX

@inproceedings{mcpherson_nimehub:_2016,
    address = {Brisbane},
    title = {{NIMEhub}: {Toward} a {Repository} for {Sharing} and {Archiving} {Instrument} {Designs}},
    abstract = {This workshop will explore the potential creation of a community database of digital musical instrument (DMI) designs. In other research communities, reproducible research practices are common, including open-source software, open datasets, established evaluation methods and community standards for research practice. NIME could benefit from similar practices, both to share ideas amongst geographically distant researchers and to maintain instrument designs after their first performances. However, the needs of NIME are different from other communities on account of NIME's reliance on custom hardware designs and the interdependence of technology and arts practice. This half-day workshop will promote a community discussion of the potential benefits and challenges of a DMI repository and plan concrete steps toward its implementation.},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the {International} {Conference} on {New} {Interfaces} {For} {Musical} {Expression}},
    author = {McPherson, Andrew P. and Berdahl, Edgar and Lyons, Michael J. and Jensenius, Alexander Refsum and Bukvic, Ivica Ico and Knudsen, Arve},
    year = {2016},
    file = {McPherson_et_al_2016_NIMEhub.pdf:/home/alexarje/Dropbox/Reference/Zotero/McPherson et al/McPherson_et_al_2016_NIMEhub.pdf:application/pdf}
}

New NIME paper: “Trends at NIME – Reflections on Editing ‘A NIME Reader'”

Michael J. Lyons and myself have been working on an edited collection of papers from the NIME conference over the last year, and we presented some reflections on this work at NIME yesterday.

Trends at NIME – Reflections on Editing “A NIME Reader” [PDF]

This paper provides an overview of the process of editing the forthcoming anthology “A NIME Reader—Fifteen years of New Interfaces for Musical Expression.” The selection process is presented, and we reflect on some of the trends we have observed in re-discovering the collection of more than 1200 NIME papers published throughout the 15 yearlong history of the conference. An anthology is necessarily selective, and ours is no exception. As we present in this paper, the aim has been to represent the wide range of artistic, scientific, and technological approaches that characterize the NIME conference. The anthology also includes critical discourse, and through acknowledgment of the strengths and weaknesses of the NIME community, we propose activities that could further diversify and strengthen the field.

Here are slides from the presentation, including a nice word-cloud made from the content of the book.

Reference
Jensenius, A. R., & Lyons, M. J. (2016). Trends at NIME – Reflections on Editing “A NIME Reader.” In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces For Musical Expression (pp. 439-443). Brisbane.

BibTeX

@inproceedings{jensenius_trends_2016,
    address = {Brisbane},
    title = {Trends at {NIME} - {Reflections} on {Editing} "{A} {NIME} {Reader}"},
    abstract = {This paper provides an overview of the process of editing the forthcoming anthology "A NIME Reader---Fifteen years of New Interfaces for Musical Expression". The selection process is presented, and we reflect on some of the trends we have observed in re-discovering the collection of more than 1200 NIME papers published throughout the 15 yearlong history of the conference. An anthology is necessarily selective, and ours is no exception. As we present in this paper, the aim has been to  represent the wide range of artistic, scientific, and technological approaches that characterize the NIME conference. The anthology also includes critical discourse, and through acknowledgment of the strengths and weaknesses of the NIME community, we propose activities that could further diversify and strengthen the field.},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of the {International} {Conference} on {New} {Interfaces} {For} {Musical} {Expression}},
    author = {Jensenius, Alexander Refsum and Lyons, Michael J.},
    year = {2016},
    pages = {439--443}
}