ï~~A Meta-Trumpet(er) Jonathan Impett 50 Haliburton Road Twickenham TWl iPF England Abstract This paper describes an instrument I composition environment built around a single instrument - the trumpet- and a particular musician - the writer. An outline of the principles guiding the development the instrument is followed by a technical description of the system. 1 Introduction "...it seems that a new type of musician is necessary, an 'artist-conceptor' of new abstract and free forms, tending towards complexities, and then towards generalisations, on several levels of sound organisation." [ Xenakis 19851 The "meta-trumpet" system consists of an instrument fitted with a range of physical sensors (their output converted to MIDI by a STEIM Sensorlab), sound-to-MIDI conversion, and software which processes the incoming data and provides a composition and scheduling environment in which the composer can determine the system's response. In general, the output is directed to MIDI-controlled instruments and processors. Aspects of performance already inherent in playing the trumpet are abstracted and extended to become: a) musical material for compositional purposes, and b) means of direct control over other parameters. The information generated could be seen as depicting a broader performance situation, of which the sound of the trumpet is one view. Centro di Sonologia Computazionale Via San Francesco 11 1-35100 Padova This is thus a "meta-" instrument in that it consists not only of the trumpet itself, but also the physical actions performed to and with it, the acoustic output and the musical / logical behaviour of the whole. The sound of the instrument is integrated into the system, being directed to the sound processing elements, which in turn are controlled by the software whose input comprises the physical parameters of performance and of the sound itself. Different views in any number of dimensions can be constructed through the resulting continuous information / sound space, including the possibilities of folding parameters onto or inside each other, and the use of temporal processes. 2 Background and Principles A central aim in designing the instrument was to permit a close and dynamic relationship between performer, instrument and impovised or composed musical material, whether computerstored "score" or constructed in real-time from performance data. As in most successful instruments, the roles of sound source and controller can be fully integrated - on a wider surface than the trumpet alone - by effectively incorporating the computer ( and thus potentially the composition) in the instrument. The player can maintain a directness and spontaneity of communication whilst retaining "higher" levels of abstraction and formalisation of both structural and sound material. This can be seen as part of a move ICMC Proceedings 1994 147 Interactive Performance 0
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