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Interacting with the Vocal Chorder: Re-empowering the Opera Diva
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. (Mobile Life at KTH)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
2014 (English)In: CHI '14 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2014Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

With The Vocal Chorder, a large interactive instrument to create accompaniment, opera singers can get more power over the performance. The device allows performers to interactively accompany themselves through pushing, leaning on, and bending steel wires. The design was guided by the unique needs of the solo-singer, explored through autobiographical design and material explorations on stage, and later tested by other singers. Through our designerly exploration, we arrived at a device that offered (1) a tool for singers to appropriate and take control over the rhythmical pace and overall artistic and aesthetic outcome of their performances, (2) an enriched sense of embodiment between their voice and the overall performance; and (3) a means to empower opera singers on stage.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Opera, Autobiographical design, Interactive instruments, embodiment, empowerment, appropriation
National Category
Human Computer Interaction
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158992DOI: 10.1145/2559206.2574798Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84900524482OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-158992DiVA: diva2:781802
Conference
CHI 2014, Apr 26 - May 01, Tronto, Canada
Note

QC 20150119

Available from: 2015-01-19 Created: 2015-01-19 Last updated: 2016-04-15Bibliographically 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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