On the hunt for feedback: Vibrotactile feedback in interactive electronic music performances

Michailidis, Tychonas (2016) On the hunt for feedback: Vibrotactile feedback in interactive electronic music performances. Doctoral thesis, Birmingham City University.

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The expressivity of musical performance is highly dependent on the feedback relationship between the performer and the instrument. Despite current advances in music technology, performers still struggle to retain the same expressive nuances of acoustic instruments. The capacity of performative musical expression in technologically-driven music is mitigated by the limitations of controllers and other sensor-based devices used in the performance of such music. Due to their physical properties, such devices and components are unable to provide mainly the haptic and vibrotactile experience between the instrument and the user, thus breaking the link with traditional musical performance. Such limitations are apparent to performers, suggesting often the existence of an unnatural barrier between the technology and the performer. The thesis proposes the use of vibrotactile feedback as means to enhance performer’s expressivity and creativity in technology mediated performances and situate vibrotactile feedback as part of the tradition of instrumental musical playing. Achieved through the use of small controllable electric motors, vibrotactile feedback can nourish communicative pathways between the performer and technology, a relationship that is otherwise limited or non-existing. The ability to experience an instrument's communicative response can significantly improve the performer-instrument relationship, and in turn the music performed. Through a series of case studies, compositions and performances, the dissertation suggests ways in which vibrotactile feedback may be applied to enhance the experience between the technology and the performer. As a result performers are able to develop expressive nuances and have better control of the technology during performance.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: I would like to thank my supervisors and mentors Prof. Lamberto Coccioli, Prof. Gregory Sporton and Dr. Simon Hall. Throughout this journey their creative motivation, advice and constant challenging of my artistic reasoning and ideas have been an invaluable support. I extend my thanks to the Birmingham Conservatoire for funding this research and supporting conference attendance. Its resources and facilities influenced many aspects of this project. Many thanks to the people behind the scenes at Birmingham Conservatoire, especially Matthew O'Malley and Richard Cornock for their invaluable technical support. I am also grateful to all the performers and musicians with whom I have worked and collaborated in the past few years. I have been lucky to get involved in the Integra Project during my time at the Conservatoire. I would like to thank Leighton Hargreaves and those inspiring composers and performers with whom I haved worked: Hilda Paredes, Grup Instrumental de València, Joan Cerveró, Gregorio Jiménez, Ana Luján, Court-Circuit ensemble, Philippe Hurel and those involved in the Integra Festival 2011. Very special thanks to Dr. Jamie Bullock for creating Integra Live and his invaluable insights about the role of technology in music performances. I would like to thank my PhD research colleagues for endless discussions and debates: Sebastiano Dessanay, Seán Clancy, Roberto Alonso Trillo, Murphy McCaleb, Jonathan Green, Ryan Stables and James Dooley. I would like to thank Sebastian Berweck for testing the footpedals. Thanks to everyone at the DMT Lab and the School of Digital Media at Birmingham City University for their support and help. Many thanks to Seán for proofreading the thesis and all those to whom I randomly sent my writing for reading and corrections. I would like to thank my parents Christina and Andreas for their love and support throughout this journey and my brother George for his radical ideas and opinions about everything. Last, but not least, I am thankful beyond words to my wife Manto, for her unconditional love, patience, support and encouragement throughout these years.
5 May 2016Completed
Subjects: CAH25 - design, and creative and performing arts > CAH25-02 - performing arts > CAH25-02-02 - music
Divisions: Doctoral Research College > Doctoral Theses Collection
Depositing User: Kip Darling
Date Deposited: 12 Mar 2019 13:20
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 16:54
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7206

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