"A musical instrument is a device to translate body movements into sound."
--Sawada, Ohkura, and Hashimoto
A possible approach to describe an expressive musical gesture is based on hypothesis how to separate parameters of motion down to their smallest discrete segments, from which it is possible to extrapolate higher-level features and map complex musical intentions. This approach is based on the analogy between gestural and verbal languages and also makes a parallel with the gestural language of conducting and its analysis and applications to software mappings.
This workshop offers hands-on introduction to interactive systems, motion tracking and gestural interfacing, as well as an overview of the theremin-sensor technology and construction, basic principles of operation of the theremin based systems, numerous useful concepts and ideas, related art and music applications.
As a starting point of the workshop participants will convert their laptops into digital multichannel Theremins (musical instruments furnished with special antennas, to control sound by free movement of hands and body in the space surrounding it) to develop further during the workshop different approaches in constructing an interactive audio/video installations, motion capturing systems, unusual gestural interfaces and unique musical instruments.
Participants will learn
= How to detect different sorts of motion and measure it
= How to monitor very small variations of electrical parameters
= How to deal with the data acquired
= How to integrate these systems into musical performance, dance, video, sound and art installations
= How to program your own instruments and perform with them
The theoretical introductions, which accompany a workshop, give detailed technical overview of sensor technology and construction, basic principles of operation of the theremin based systems, art and music applications, useful concepts and ideas, condensed historical content, mostly related to almost forgotten historical facts.
Analog and digital USB sensors for testing, experimenting and performance as well as all appropriate software libraries will be provided by instructor as well as different stuff for antenna construction.
Practical results achieved during the GESTURAL INTERFACES workshop can be applied and extended during the Karlheinz Essl's REALTIME COMPOSITION workshop to follow after.
Each participant should have a computer with an audio input and personal headphones.
All computers and software should be configured and checked in advance (!).
Participants should have some skills in PD or MAX/MSP programming.
It is also posible to work with any favorite software, oriented on interactive systems development, which allow external control via OSC or MIDI (Supercollider, Isadora etc.). In all cases control data will be provided via MAX/MSP runtime or PD patches from instructor's library.
It is important to remember that in many cases the use of extra software will result in significant increese of latency and other possible timing problems.
1. Laptop with PD or MAX/MSP installed
2. Stereo audio input (mini-Jack)
3. Personal headphones
4. All appropriate cables
5. Appropriate amount of power plugs
6. Two 9 volt bataries (!!)