Competing Attractions, Orbital Decay and the Music of the Spheres: Force–based relational dynamics for organizing space and timbre in performance using physical modelling

Richard Graham, Brian Bridges

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Abstract

This paper describes the mapping of embodied metaphors found within physical systems to the spatial organization of voices and timbral processes. The intention of such an approach is to enhance the clarity and richness of connections between performance gestures and sonic structures. Previ- ous system iterations have presented mappings informed by ecological–embodied metaphors of dynamic forces as a means to bridge cross-domain performance events across physical and figurative planes. The first iteration sought to reify gravitationally based tonal pitch space models by map- ping melodic syntax computations (such as attraction, tension, and inertia analogues) to in–kind parameters of a flocking algorithm as a method of dynamic audio spatialization. Given the embodied physical bases implied by musical models proposed by Lerdahl and Smalley, we present a system that further explores the ecological bases of musical abstraction through the lens of force–based mapping models for spatial audio and timbral processing. The present iteration of the system utilizes a physics engine in a game development environment as a base for a practice–led explora- tion of mappings encompassing a wider variety of force–relational dynamics (derived from instrumental note–events) as applied to the evolution of spatial and timbral gestures. A particular focus is the treatment of energy-motion trajectories within the system’s mapping. While spatialization and diffusion is an obvious output modality for such a mapping, practice–led explorations of these embodied concepts, as facilitated by this system, may also inform a relational model of timbral connections.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherKorean Electro-Acoustic Music Society
Number of pages8
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 19 Jun 2016
EventKorean Electro-Acoustic Music Society Annual Conference - Seoul National University
Duration: 19 Jun 2016 → …

Conference

ConferenceKorean Electro-Acoustic Music Society Annual Conference
Period19/06/16 → …

Bibliographical note

Reference text: Graham, R. (2012) Expansion of Electronic Guitar Performance Practice through the Development of Interactive Digital Music Systems. Ph.D. Thesis. Londonderry: Ulster University.
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Graham, R. and Bridges, B. (2014b). Gesture and Embodied Metaphor in Spatial Music Performance Systems Design. In Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. pp. 581–584. London: Goldsmiths.
Graham, R. and Bridges, B. (2015). Managing Musical Complexi- ty with Embodied Metaphors. In Proceedings of the Interna- tional Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. pp. 103-106. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University.
Graham, R. and Cluett, S. (2016). The Soundfield as Sound Ob- ject: Virtual Reality Environments as a Three-Dimensional Can- vas for Music Composition. In Proceedings of the Audio for Augmented and Virtual Reality Conference. Los Angeles: Audio Engineering Society Annual Conference.
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Johnson, M. (2007). The Meaning of the Body: Aesthetics of Human Understanding. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Lerdahl, F. (2001). Tonal Pitch Space. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
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Malham, D. (2002). B-Zoom. Retrieved from http://www.york.ac.uk/inst/mustech/3d_audio/vst/bzoom_hel p.html on September 30 2016.
Milgram, P. / Takemura, H. / Utsumi, A. / Kishino, F. (1994). Augmented Reality: A class of displays on the reality-virtuality continuum. Telemanipulator and Telepresence Technologies. vol. 2351(34). pp. 282-292. Washington: SPIE.
Reynolds, C. (1983). Boids Flocking Algorithm. Retrieved from www.red3d.com/cwr/boids/ on September 30 2016.
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Smalley, D. (1997). Spectromorphology: explaining sound- shapes. Organised Sound, 2(02), pp. 107-126. Cambridge: Cam- bridge University Press.
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Keywords

  • embodied cognition
  • interaction
  • music performance
  • physical modelling
  • space
  • timbre

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