A Field of Possibilities: Designing and Playing Digital Musical Instruments
This thesis focuses on a set of digital musical instruments I have designed and developed with ensemble improvisation in mind. The intention is not to create a universal improvisational instrument, but rather to create a set of instruments which each realize one musical idea. My research addresses the meaning and relations between activities in two stages, what I call “design time” and “play time”. In short, design time is conception, representation, and articulation of ideas and knowledge outside of chronological time, whereas play time takes place in real-time and concerns bodily activity, interaction, and embodied knowledge. In this work aesthetics play a crucial role, and here signify what is important for me. At design time my aesthetic preferences guide the design process, whereas in play time, a subjective aesthetic tenet is that musical improvisation has strong similarities to gaming and play. One hypothesis states that choices made during the design process at the development stages of a digital musical instrument significantly influence ensemble improvisation and musical results at play time. A digital instrument in this work constitutes a field of possibilities, which in play actualizes the aesthetic decisions of its designer, and in cases where the designer and player are one, during play there will be a double influence: directly through the player’s actions, and indirectly through the nature of the instrument.
Doctor of Philosophy
Göteborgs universitet. Konstnärliga fakulteten
University of Gothenburg. Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts
Academy of Music and Drama ; Högskolan för scen och musik
Fredagen den 25 november 2011, kl 13.00, Lindgrensalen, Högskolan för scen och musik, Artisten, Fågelsången 1, Göteborg
Date of defence
A concert is included, which is held the evening before, Thursday 24th November 2011, at the jazz club Nefertiti, Gothenburg
GAS 2007: Angle of Repos (09’ 18”) Beam Stone (Per Anders Nilsson, Sten Sandell, Raymond Strid) (54.17Mb)
GAS 2007: Amalgamation (05’ 26”) Beam Stone (Per Anders Nilsson, Sten Sandell, Raymond Strid) (28.00Mb)
ISCM 2009: Amalgamation (09’ 13”) Beam Stone (Per Anders Nilsson, Sten Sandell, Raymond Strid) (52.68Mb)
GAS 2007: Grey Zone (05’ 54”) Beam Stone (Per Anders Nilsson, Sten Sandell, Raymond Strid) (37.45Mb)
ISCM 2009: Grey Zone (09’ 13”) Beam Stone (Per Anders Nilsson, Sten Sandell, Raymond Strid) (62.45Mb)
ISCM 2009: Shadowing: (11’ 59”) Beam Stone (Per Anders Nilsson, Sten Sandell, Raymond Strid) (62.92Mb)
Nilsson, Per Anders
Digital musical instruments
music of sounds
design time – play time
game and sports
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