Electronic Music Performance Paradigms Part 2

Over the weekend I broke out my LEAP Motion Controller for the first time, hooked it up to Max, and started experimenting. I did a couple of videos of that experimentation, the second of which showcases some basic audio manipulation i did using the aka.leapmotion object and the grainstretch~ object:

Currently, i’m typing this blog entry in the electronic music studio at Tulane.  I got in here around 22:30 and spent a good hour or so familiarizing myself with the space here – the mapping of the mixing board, how that maps to the 8-channel speaker set up, and also some Reaper basics (since at home I use Audacity) and how to control that 8-channel space.  I had a tough time remembering some of what Rick showed me when he introduced me to the space last week, and 8-channel sound is a very new animal to me, so it took me a bit longer to figure it out than i would have liked, but i figured it out and started building some of the vocabulary of the sounds in Reaper in the way that i wanted as a starting point.

After i did that, i got out of the lab, walked around a little bit in the quiet of the now-locked music building, and started some hard thinking.  I thought about my weekend LEAP experiments, i thought about my experience with the In The Grid concert here, and I tried to put into focus what I wanted to accomplish with this piece – mainly whether or not the piece should be a pure audio-only piece with no added elements, or if it should be an interactive one that potentially uses the LEAP as its interactive instrument and conduit.  Mainly i was trying to answer the big question: would using the LEAP for the piece be something that ultimately enhances it or detracts from it?

In thinking about it, there were a few important elements to consider.

electronic music (and multimedia art) performance paradigms and its relation to my new piece

Last night i went to a concert at Tulane called “In The Grid”, which was basically a concert of student works of the multimedia/electronic music classes here at Tulane.  I assume it was end-of-the-year or end-of-the-semester projects.

The quality of the pieces varied – not unexpectedly since the students had a wide range of experience with the software and hardware that they were using for the concert – but the concert itself was pretty awesome because the program itself was very varied, a great showcase of exploration and experimentation by the students.   There were a few “tape pieces” which was to be expected, but there was also a piece where someone did some improv with an iPad controller and a pd patch, there was a guy that used a LEAP motion controller to control not just the music, but a projection of images that were aimed at two huge irregularly-shaped boxes that were suspended from the ceiling, and there was a piece that involved projecting varied light patterns and sweeps amongst a constant machine-generated smoke screen in which three dancers danced as silhouettes, an integrated music/light show/dance visual thing.

As i was listening and watching the concert…