Res, a matter.

Before the holidays break I wanted to set a milestone of the inquiry, so I agreed together with my supervisor Martin Parker to host a short presentation reserved to the research staff of our departments (Sound Design and Digital Composition).

MMG biosensing device presentation setup | The University of Edinburgh | 2010

I’ve been setting up the Sound Lab at Alison House since the morning and everything worked fine.
Even though some of the researchers could not make it, I was happy to see Martin, Owen Green and Sean Williams.

MMG biosensing device presentation | The University of Edinburgh | 2010

Although the piece I performed represented more a first presentation than a proper concert for me, it has definitely caught the attention of the listeners and earned some good feedbacks; however what I was most expecting were constructive critics which could allow me to assume a different viewpoint on the present stage of the project.
In fact I did receive several advices which can be roughly summarized as follow:

  • harmony, improve the overall harmony of the piece
  • silence, including silence in a musical piece demonstrates braveness and coherence
  • sonic gesture, theatrical gesture is very important in a musical performance of this kind
  • add to the software envelope generators to enhance automation
  • try to use a MIDI device
  • study a better dynamics compression to be applied on the MMG source signal
  • delays and reverbs, if improperly used such effects might destroy the sonic space, instead of creating it
  • the distortion effects I first used can be ambiguous

I fully agreed with these critics and I actually realized I could have prepared the presentation much better. However it has been important to listen to my fellows’ feedbacks and that night I came back home and worked until late to improve the piece for the forthcoming concert.
Night time was not enough to work on all the issues raised after the presentation, but I was able to better experiment with silence and subtle processing effects, envelope generators (which eventually have not been used) and a MIDI controller. Results seemed very good.
The day after I worked a couple of hours more, then I went to Alison House to set up the equipment for the concert together with my fellows Matthew and Marcin who performed too on the same night. This time I prepared everything professionally, anxious as I was to present the reviewed piece.

Concert for Biosensing Techs | Edinburgh University | 2010

Concert for Biosensing Techs | Edinburgh University | 2010

The setup consisted of the MMG sensor prototype, a Focusrite Saffire Pro40, a Behringer BCF2000 MIDI controller, a DELL machine running a customized Ubuntu Lucid Lynx with Real Time Kernel, and the Pure Data-based software framework I’m developing.

Concert for Biosensing Techs | Edinburgh University | 2010

Audience feedbacks were very good, and I seemed to understand that what most appealed the listeners was an authentic, neat and natural responsiveness of the system along with a suggestive coupling of sound and gestures. Concerts were supposed to be recorded, but sadly they have not.
Although some harmony issues remained, I was also fairly satisfied of the performance outcome. During the winter break I plan to better implement the prototype, possibly making it portable and to refine the software, coding a better control data mapping and fixing the omnipresent bugs.