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Building on the Foundations of Network Music: Exploring interaction contexts and shared robotic instruments*

  • Owen Vallis (a1), Dimitri Diakopoulos (a2), Jordan Hochenbaum (a2) and Ajay Kapur (a2)

Historically, network music has explored the practice and theory of interconnectivity, utilising the network itself as a creative instrument. The Machine Orchestra (TMO) has extended this historical idea by developing the custom software suite Signal, and creating a shared, social instrument consisting of musical robotics. Signal is a framework for musical synchronisation and data sharing, designed to support the use of musical robotics in an attempt to more fully address ideas of interconnectivity and embodied performance. Signal, in combination with musical robotics, also facilitates the exploration of interaction contexts, such as at the note level, score level and sound-processing level. In this way, TMO is simultaneously building upon the historical contributions and developing aesthetics of network music.

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The authors would like to thank all the computer network ensembles that have laid the foundation on which we have built our research. We would also like to thank Perry Cook, Curtis Bahn, Charlie Burgin, Meason Wiley and Jim Murphy for their exceptional musicianship in realising the pieces described in this article. Additionally, we would like to thank the reviewers at Organised Sound and Rory Vallis for their efforts in helping with the realisation of this article.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

A Barbosa . 2003. Displaced Soundscapes: A Survey of Network Systems for Music and Sonic Art Creation. Leonardo Music Journal 13: 5359.

J. Bischoff , R. Gold , J Horton . 1978. Music for an Interactive Network of Microcomputers. Computer Music Journal 2(3): 2429.

J.-P. Cáceres , C Chafe . 2010. JackTrip: Under the Hood of an Engine for Network Audio. Journal of New Music Research 39(3): 183187.

P.F. Driessen , T.E. Darcie , B Pillay . 2011. The Effects of Network Delay on Tempo in Musical Performance. Computer Music Journal 35(1): 7689.

S Gresham-Lancaster . 1998. The Aesthetics and History of the Hub: The Effects of Changing Technology on Network Computer Music. Leonardo Music Journal 8: 3944.

A. Kapur , M. Darling , D. Diakopoulos , J.W. Murphy , J. Hochenbaum , O. Vallis , C. Bahn 2011. The Machine Orchestra: An Ensemble of Human Laptop Performers and Robotic Musical Instruments. Computer Music Journal 35(4): 4963.

S. Smallwood , D. Trueman , P.R. Cook , G Wang . 2008. Composing for Laptop Orchestra. Computer Music Journal 32(1): 925.

M.M. Wanderley , N Orio . 2002. Evaluation of Input Devices for Musical Expression: Borrowing Tools from HCI. Computer Music Journal 26(3): 6276.

G Weinberg . 2005. Interconnected Musical Networks: Toward a Theoretical Framework. Computer Music Journal 29(2): 2339.

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Organised Sound
  • ISSN: 1355-7718
  • EISSN: 1469-8153
  • URL: /core/journals/organised-sound
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