Church Belles: An Interactive System and Composition Using Real-World Metaphors

Waite, Simon (2016) Church Belles: An Interactive System and Composition Using Real-World Metaphors. NIME 2016, 2016. pp. 265-270. ISSN 2220-4806

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Abstract / Summary

Church Belles explores how creating and using an interactive system for popular songwriting based on a physical metaphor impacts the composition process and the liveness of performances. Composing the piece was central to the research process (Candy and Edmonds, 2018) which involved a cyclical, iterative process of literature review, system-building/composing and reflection. While common in more experimental styles, the use of interactive music systems in popular music tends to be limited (Marchini et al, 2017). Several studies have demonstrated the potential for physical metaphors to be used as a design strategy for interactive systems (Johnston et al, 2009) that both facilitates audience understanding and focuses the compositional process. In this piece, church bells were selected as the metaphor they are a highly familiar cultural object with a simple physical mechanism, capable of producing complex timbres and unpredictable rhythms. Church Belles explores the impact of using an interactive system throughout the songwriting process. Creating the system therefore began before any songwriting took place, maximising the system’s influence over each stage of the composition. The research reveals strategies for working with interactive systems in highly-structured popular music contexts, which have been disseminated by a paper and demonstration at New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) (Waite, 2016). Performances with the piece demonstrate high levels of several aspects of liveness (Sanden, 2013). Findings have been shared with international academic and professional audiences at Innovations in Music 2017 (London); Tracking the Creative Process in Music 2017 (Huddersfield) and Loop 2017 (Berlin). Recordings of the piece and accompanying commentary have been published online and the piece has been performed at Sonorities 2016 (Queen’s University), MTI concerts (De Montfort University) and NoiseFloor (Staffordshire University). The software for the piece is available for free download.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Interactive music systems, real-world, metaphor, physical model, popular music
ISSN: 2220-4806
Subjects: Technology > Digital Works > Apps
Technology > Digital Works > Digital Artefact
Music > Digital Music
Technology > Digital Works
Music > Miscellaneous
Music > Musical Performance
Music > Popular Music
Public Exhibition
Music > Sound Art
Courses by Department: Academy of Music & Theatre Arts > Music
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Simon Waite
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2019 16:42
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2019 16:42


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