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The throat III: disforming operatic voices through a novel interactive instrument
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2142-9493
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0002-4825
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2659-0411
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of CHI 2013 Extended Abstracts, ACM Press, 2013, 3007-3010 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Practitioner-led artistic research, combined with interactive technologies, opens up new and unexplored design spaces. Here we focus on the creation of a tool for opera-singers to dynamically disform, change and accompany their voices. In an opera composed by one of the authors, the title-role singer needed to be able to alter his voice to express hawking, coughing, snuffling and other disturbing vocal qualities associated with the lead role Joseph Merrick, aka "The Elephant Man". In our designerly exploration, we were guided by artistic experiences from the opera tradition and affordances of the technology at hand. The resulting instrument, The Throat III, is a singer-operated artefact that embodies and extends particular notions of operatic singing techniques while at the same time creating accompaniment. It therefore becomes an emancipatory tool, putting a spotlight on some of the power hierarchies between singers, composers, conductors, and stage directors in the operatic world.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ACM Press, 2013. 3007-3010 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Research subject
SRA - ICT
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-134716DOI: 10.1145/2468356.2479596ISBN: 978-1-4503-1952-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-134716DiVA: diva2:667858
Conference
SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems,27 April - 2 May, 2013, Paris, France
Note

Qc 20141117

Available from: 2013-11-28 Created: 2013-11-28 Last updated: 2015-12-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Extending Opera - Artist-led Explorations in Operatic Practice through Interactivity and Electronics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extending Opera - Artist-led Explorations in Operatic Practice through Interactivity and Electronics
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

How can we re-empower opera singers, extending their control over accompaniment and vocal expressivity? To answer this question, I have opened a novel design space, Extending Opera, consisting of interactive artist–operated tools to be used on-stage. The research has its methodological groundings in Research through Design (RtD) and Research through the Arts (RttA). This particular method is coined "research-throughthe- art-form-opera" – as I have worked within the realms and traditions of opera, probing its boundaries by designing, researching and creating through its own artistic toolbox.

Originally conceived for personal use, the artifacts were later used by other singers and incorporated in performances of opera in small and large scale. By composing and designing for the requirements in operatic productions, high demands on robustness were explored in and through custom-built interfaces.

The work resulted in ten novel artifacts and performances exploring the expressivity of these tools. Extending Opera is guided by and probed through three questions:

1. How can the design and creation of interactive, artist-operated instruments be informed by deep musical knowledge and be probed by the particular conditions surrounding an operatic production?

2. What impact can interactive, artist-operated instruments have on the opera singers themselves and on their vocal technique?

3. How can interactive, artist-operated instruments empower opera singers, thus challenging contemporary power hierarchies – thereby reconnecting to the explorative practice in opera's early days?

My knowledge contribution has surfaced through artistic practice and consists of the exemplars and the artworks, as well as three abstractions – one procedure, one requirement and one experiential quality.

Sensory Digital Intonation highlights how the fine-tuning of technologies and real-time interactivity is incorporated in a feed-back loop with artistic concerns and creativity.

Performative Stamina ("The Premiere-Factor") highlights how the traditional procedures leading up to a premiere in opera influence the demands on robustness and reliability within the components and the overall design of the novel artifacts.

Vocal Embodiment is an experiential quality that describes how the interactive artifacts change the singing itself.

In the conclusion, Artistic Re–Empowerment is discussed, proposing that power structures in opera have been probed through the use of the novel artist-operated interactive instruments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. 136 p.
Series
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2014:19
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Research subject
Media Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-159001 (URN)978-91-7595-401-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-29, F2, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150119

Available from: 2015-01-19 Created: 2015-01-19 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved
2. Crafting New Interfaces for Musical Expression
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crafting New Interfaces for Musical Expression
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis collects and contextualizes several projects involving artistically directed prototyping where new artifacts have been developed, in multi-disciplinary groups of practitioners, for use in performance contexts. These projects and their resulting publications have been team efforts, and therefore all papers have more than one author. In the introduction, a complementary perspective to that of the publications is offered, engaging with the characteristics of the digital innards of these artifacts and their digital material qualities. The stance that software source code is a design material is argued, and the notion of the crafting coder is used to view processes that use code as material for artistic creation. Code is also prominently featured in the introductory chapter with examples of some of the central components of the sound processing techniques that have been successfully used in the projects described in this thesis.

The artifacts that are described in the thesis are: The Throat, an instrument for augmenting the singing voice using gestural control in real-time, The Vocal Chorder, a string based instrument using full-body interaction that also allows for audience participation through an installation mode, The Charged Room, a video tracking installation that lets users manipulate sound by moving across a stage, and Nebula, a garment that senses the users movements and responds with sound. These artifacts have been evaluated in the context they are designed for, and not only tested in laboratory settings, to make sure that the knowledge produced is valid. Several performances and peda-gogical courses have been used as empirical foundation for the claims of empowerment, expressivity, and performance qualities ascribed to the developed artifacts.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. xi, 43 p.
Series
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2015:19
National Category
Media Engineering
Research subject
Media Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176888 (URN)978-91-7595-784-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-12-14, Fantum, Lindstedtsvägen 24, plan 5, KTH, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20151202

Available from: 2015-12-02 Created: 2015-11-11 Last updated: 2015-12-03Bibliographically approved

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Unander-Scharin, CarlHöök, KristinaElblaus, Ludvig
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