Designing Interactions for Music and Sound | by Myk Eff

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Routledge Sound Design Book Series

Designing Interactions for Music and Sound presents multidisciplinary research and case studies in electronic music production, dance-composer collaboration, AI tools for live performance, multimedia works, installations in public spaces, locative media, AR/VR//MR/XR and health.

As the follow-on volume to Foundations in Sound Design for Interactive Media, the authors cover key practices, technologies and concepts such as: classifications, design guidelines and taxonomies of programs, interfaces, sensors, spatialization and other means for enhancing musical expressivity; controllerism — the techniques of non-musician performers of electronic music who utilize MIDI, OSC and wireless technologies to manipulate sound in real time; artificial intelligence tools used in live club music, soundscape poetics and research creation based on audio walks, environmental attunement and embodied listening; new sound design techniques for VR/AR/MR/XR that express virtual human motion; and the use of interactive sound in health contexts, such as designing sonic interfaces for users with dementia.

Collectively the chapters illustrate the robustness and variety of contemporary interactive sound design research, creativity and its many applied contexts for students, teachers, researchers and practitioners.

Chapter 1 — “Designing Interactive Musical Interfaces” by Dan Overholt — presents a comprehensive overview of techniques employed to create new musical interfaces and algorithms. Classifications, design guidelines and taxonomies of programs, interfaces, sensors, monitor arrays for spatialization and other technologies are discussed for their relevance for enhancing musical expressivity through interaction.

Chapter 2 — “Collective Controllerism: a Non-musician’s Perspective of Interactive Dance as Controllerist Practice” by Manoli Moriaty — considers collaboration between a dancer and a controllerist, the latter term referring to non-musician performers of electronic music who utilize various MIDI, OSC and wireless technologies to manipulate sound in real time. Controllerism is reflected upon as a relatively newly defined practice through its specific parameter mappings and communication value for dance.

Chapter 3 — “Compute and Resonate: Creating Electronic Music of the Acid Genre for Presentation within a Club Environment Utilizing Accessible Artificial Intelligence and Computer-based Generative Tools” by Dylan Davis– discusses some of the main new AI tools that are easily accessible by musicians without any need for programming skills. These tools are used in the context of club-based acid music and evaluated during and after live performances.

Chapter 4 — “Sonic Poetics of the Tidal Flats ” by Prophecy Sun, Freya Zinovieff, Kristin Carlson and Reese Muntean — takes up the themes of carriance and stewardship in the poetics of a multi-channel audiovisual artwork. Ecological and feminist perspectives guide the colletion and presentation of environmental binaural recordings, text, photos and video clips based on locations chosen for their acute resonances with the climate crisis.

Chapter 5 — “Designing Sound Installations in Public Spaces: A Collaborative Research Creation Approach” by Catherine Guastavino, Valérian Fraisse, Simone D’Ambrosio, Etienne Legast and Maryse Lavoie — describe several case studies of sound installations in public spaces by focusing on the design processes and deployment in situ of interdisciplinary collaborations. Their methodologies point to the creative potential of positive soundscape construction as a way to improve our experiences with urban ambiences.

Chapter 6 — “Embodied Listening within Geolocative Sonic Art” by Jimmy Eadie — highlights how ideas of immersion and embodiment from the field of human-computer interaction can combine with thematics of memory and place in geo-locative sonic art. Soundwalks, process-oriented making and practices of headphone listening are discussed for their experiential and experimental qualities which can increase our engagement with the local environment.

Chapter 7 — “Sound Mixed Reality Prompts for People with Dementia: a Familiar and Meaningful Experience” by Shital Desai, Joel Ong, Deborah Fels and Arlene Astell — show how sound-based mixed reality technologies can be productively introduced into health settings such as working with dementia patients. A variety of sound types are analyzed such as musical tones, human voices, sound effects and cartoon sounds.

Chapter 8 — “Leveraging Motion and Conceptual Frameworks of Sound as a Novel Means of Sound Design in Extended Reality” by Tom A. Garner– details how XR technologies, while fully capable of integrating general sound design practices from other audiovisual media domains, also require some unique approaches based on their technical specificities. The chapter focuses on human motion as a novel affordance which presents new creative opportunities and challenges for sound design in XR.

The chapter summaries here have in places drawn from the authors’ chapter abstracts, the full versions of which can be found in Routledge’s online reference for the volume.

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