Stringtrees NIME paper is here: http://www.nime.org/proceedings/2014/nime2014_449.pdf
Below is a condensed version of my NIME presentation.
This research is set against a theoretical/philosophical background regarding the nature of human-instrument relationships, from which I defined a conceptual space to explore through design, and then engage in reflective accounting of putting the design into practice. The instrument I created isn’t mature enough to draw out a theory or generate a framework at this stage, but I do intend to report back as our practice with this system does mature.
I consider 4 different perspectives from which we can approach human-instrument relationships: Cybernetics, Haptics, Dynamic Systems, and Semiotics.
The approach was deliberately open-ended and didn’t begin with an envisioned usage scenario, so the goal was really just to make something to perform with that explored this space I’ve identified. And I didn’t submit it to any conferences or calls assuming it would be finished in time. This is a little map of my process, from which I really just want to highlight that it is an iterative process which includes a reconsideration of the goal, which is something I think happens far too infrequently.
- Extremely robust, but very heavy, difficult to regulate
- A bit scary
Rotor Lock Mechanism
Innovative performance techniques emerged in response to the system, bringing aesthetic priorities and biases with them, as well as whatever implements at hand. A feature of not having a priori musical goal.
- Tuning with “slides”
- Manual plucking
Emergent behaviors and musical surprises
- A consequence of distributed control
- Tendency to “go with” surprises
- Improvisatory character
Different Modes at High Speeds
- Primary interaction is tuning/timbre
- Sense that “the system is in control,” akin to an ornamental mode
- Facilitated collaborative improvisation
- Performances are episodic: Stable state -> transition -> stable state
- Temporal nature / speed of automated behavior enforced different modes of interaction
- Need feedback control for speed regulation
(Give more control to the system)
- Explore tuning regimes
(distribute between performers)
- More precise (automated?) string positioning
Social environment around the instrument