International Computer Music Conference

ICMC, Barcelona, Spain 4-10 September 2005

Sunday 4 September

  • I attended a workshop on audio mosaicing, which was more like a set of presentations by different people, but still interesting.
  • Jason Freeman, PhD from Columbia, now at Georgia Tech, talked about a java applet creating a 5 second "thumbnail song" of your iTunes collection.
  • Opening concert
    • Chris Brown had composed a piece for the Reactable interactive table made at UPF. The table is very nice, and is responding quickly, but I felt there was a missing link when it comes to the relationships between the gestures made, objects presented and sonic output.
    • Jose Manuel Berenguer played sounds and visuals. I liked the beginning a lot, with a nice combination of granulated sounds and visual particle sworms.
  • Ali Momeni’s installation "un titled" is using the new moother object which makes it possible to acces the Freesound database from within Max/MSP and PD. Ali used it to query for similar files and organizing them in 2-dimensional "sound spaces". A large mechanical construction is controlling the parameters via Wacom tablets. Nice concept and I like the idea of getting things bigger and more heavy to use, but I had some problems with the mappings and the concept of having to press the large sticks down in the ground to get new sounds.

Monday 5 September

  • Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, CCRMA, Stanford, talked about Planet CCRMA and future issues. On a question on free software, he said something like "to me, free software is definitely not free".
  • Norbert Schnell from IRCAM presented FTM, a nice collection of Max-objects for more advanced data handling in Max/MSP.
  • Rosemary Mountain, Concordia / Hexagram, showed a setup for testing how people can organize visual and auditory stimuli. She used a wireless barcode reader.
  • Ge Wang, Soundlab, Princeton, showed his Chuck programming language, a text-based music language, with some nice graphical add-ons. I’m very sorry I missed his "text-battle" with Nick Collins at the Off-ICMC.

Tuesday 6 September

  • Vegard Sandvold, NOTAM, presented some promising results on the use of semantic descriptors of musical intensity. I tried the experiment when it was up and running, and have some problems with the concept of forcing stimuli into predetermined categories. It would be interesting to do a set of similar experiments using a continuous scale instead. His system is currently used by NRK in the radio-intentiometer.
  • Douglas Geers, Minnesota, presented a nice piece in the evening concert, with a violinist wearing glowing thread which he processed with Jitter.

Wednesday 7 September

Thursday 8 September

  • Rui Pedro Paiva, University of Coimbra, Portugal, presented a way of melody extraction from a polyphonic signal. Based on auditory filtering, and with no attempt to make it fast, they obtained an average performance of about 82% on a varied set of music.
  • Geoffery Peeters, IRCAM, presented a method for rhythm detection which seems to be very promising.
  • Nick Collins, Cambridge, presented an overview of different segmentation algorithms.
  • Xavier Serra, UPF, presented a nice overview of current music technology research, and called for a roadmap for future research.

Friday 9 September

  • Eduardo Reck Miranda, Future Music Lab, Plymouth, showed some of his work using EEG to control music. They still have a long way to go, since the signals are weak and noisy, but they had managed to get people to control simple playback of sequences.
  • Carlos Guedes, NYU / Porto, presented his m-tools, a small package of Max-objects developed for controlling musical rhythm from dance movements.
  • and Perry Cook, Princeton, showed tools
  • Jasch and played a nice set at the Off-ICMC.

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.