[MID week 3] Ideas for an interaction map, next steps, and comments on music teaching tools.

Assignments

1. Music Teaching Tools: Harmony. Make some music using the following:

Write a short response discussing your experience.

2. Create additional, alternative user paths to illustrate the range of interaction experiences your project might offer. Start thinking of interactions: what user actions will determine which musical outcomes? What aspects of the music will evolve independently of user actions (if any)?

Interaction map:

One of the first times I thought about this project, I was creating a playlist for a theater rehearsal. That was such a delicate task, because the rhythm of the songs nearly dictate the rhythm of the scenes. It made me want to find a way to have the opposite route: having the scene generate the sound for itself – allow the moving bodies to determine the sound, and not the opposite.

I then started observing myself dancing, and how my movement responded to the beats. After a few seconds into the song, I could predict the next beat, so I would move with, and not after it. In exploring the grounds of body and beat possibilities, I started being super aware of that when I am dancing, and certainly the most exciting moments are when beats get unpredictable. Again, it comes to me: which interesting relations can emerge from a body that creates its own beats? Where, when and how can the human movements turn into a beatmaker?

As for melody, my first experiments will probably be a theremin-like instrument, but trying to map joints other than hands, or investigating different ways to map pitch and volume. In my experiment for last week, I mapped the pitch of two different synthesizers to my nose X and Y coordinates, and the interval between two piano notes to the distance between my wrists. It was interesting, and I really enjoy the way the intervals were happening,  even though it didn’t sound too great. I am planning on keeping the distance between two points as the interval between notes in a chord — a more complex harmony, and finding ways for it to actually sound good. For the next prototype, I believe I may use the extreme left and right X values of my body in relation to the screen.

This week I worked on figuring out how to actually make this project come to life technically. At first, it made a lot of sense to use Kinect to Max to Ableton Live, but it seems like there are so many issues with Kinect now that it is discontinued, that it feels like a waste of time to dedicate so much effort into something that can just stop working at any time. I found this link with a few other options, but I still don’t know if we have any of that available on the floor, so I’ll have to go deeper into this research next week, so I can better understand what are my concrete possibilities of interaction. Anyways, it now sounds like the best option for coding would be Max for the ease of communication with Ableton and also to apply the knowledge that I am getting from Live Image Processing and Performance.

 

Music teaching tools:

I feel like most of the teaching tools we’ve been seeing in class are somewhat helpful, but I didn’t have a great time with these ones. It’s hard to see what one that has no music experience can get theory wise from Arpeggios. I know the relationship between the inside and the outside circle, but I don’t understand the order or why those specific notes are being played, so I don’t feel like I learned much from it. To me, Hookpad is super counter intuitive. I had so much trouble playing with it, even trying to do simple things, and I do have previous knowledge with this kind of tool. As for Ableton’s Learning Music, I really enjoy their tutorials, even though I don’t think I learned anything from that.

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