THE MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION RESEARCH CENTRE (MTI) AT DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY - STUDIO REPORTSkip other details (including permanent urls, DOI, citation information)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. Please contact email@example.com to use this work in a way not covered by the license. :
For more information, read Michigan Publishing's access and usage policy.
Page 00000001 THE MUSIC, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION RESEARCH CENTRE (MTI) AT DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY - STUDIO REPORT Leigh Landy MTI Research Centre Clephan Building De Montfort University Leicester LEI 9BH UK 11Iandy~drnLauuk www.mnti.dmrnu.acguk ABSTRACT The MTI Research Centre has grown very rapidly during its six years of existence. This paper reports on the story of that expansion, key MTI foci, projects and initiatives as well as the unique and cohesive character of the centre. 1. INTRODUCTION It has been five years since the first MTI studio report that was offered shortly after its creation (see ). A great deal has been achieved in the interim; these rapid developments form the main subject of the following paper. In terms of staffing alone, this brief history has been quite unusual. There was one staff member within the music subject area at DMU in August 1999; by the time the 2000 ICMC paper was written, this number had increased to three plus two Visiting Professors. Today there are nine staff members and our systems coordinator, two postdoctoral Research Fellows, two Visiting and one Honorary Professor and six times as many postgraduates than were studying with us in 2000. Similarly, our resource base has increased significantly as has the number of activities with which the MTI is involved. It has received research centre status this year. 1. THE MTI AND ITS CURRENT FOCI The MTI is currently associated with two main foci: Electroacoustic composition and sonic art Electroacoustic music studies Electroacoustic is used here in its most inclusive sense, including relevant forms of innovative popular music. Furthermore, a great deal of MTI research is supported by a commitment to access and outreach. This short list already identifies some unusual characteristics of the group. Firstly, music technological development is not one of our key raisons d'etre. This fact certainly demonstrates that we differ from the vast majority of similar groups and centres internationally. Similarly, the MTI's focus on electroacoustic music studies, that is, the humanities areas within music technological research, again places the MTI within a small circle of like-minded groups. The commitment both to popular music and to outreach, e.g., community arts developments, again demonstrates the centre's being networked into the non-academic (or 'real') world around us. Finally, every MTI member is an active creative artist. This means that most research is based on a praxis model in which practice informs theory that in turn informs practice. These foci will be returned to below within the discussions of our projects and our other activities. The MTI is located within the university's Faculty of Humanities. It hosts the journal, Organised Sound. an International Journal of Music Technology (Cambridge University Press) and is collaborating with a number of organisations within the university and internationally 1. COLLABORATIONS AND EXCHANGES 1.1. Within the University The MTI has educational links within its own faculty, primarily with the sister performing arts and other digital arts areas including writing. It also has links with the School of Engineering and Technology that is offering a BSc in Music, Technology and Innovation named after our suite of courses. MTI founding member, Andrew Hugill has been responsible for a number of collaborative initiatives with the Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering; and the MTI is developing working relationships with the Faculty of Art and Design, primarily through the newly established Centre for Creative Technologies (ww wcctdma ). The CCT came into being to host, support and enable a range of high-level research projects in the digital arts, centred upon real-time interaction between various agents, be they human or digital. It studies, analyses, builds and advances techniques for real-time systems in a dynamically changing and highly distributed environment. 1.1. Within the UK The most important domestic collaboration currently is with the Philharmonia Orchestra. Hugill has been responsible for the orchestra's education and outreach presence on the internet, called 'The Sound Exchange' (www.soundex.co.uk). Beyond this, there have been several internet-based initiatives involving the Philharmonia including 'The Orchestra: a User's Manual' and the 'Net Symphony'. Further details can be found at ww.~mfi.imu: >uk hugiH/phi rrnonia.
Page 00000002 1.1. International Collaborations and Exchanges The MTI's two major international collaborations are interwoven. The Centre has collaborative agreements with The University of Paris IV (Sorbonne) and with the Groupe de Recherches Musicales/INA. The former link involves both postgraduate student and staff exchange and research collaboration, primarily concerning the EARS project (see below). A digitisation (preservation) project is being launched this year steered by the GRM, MTI, ZKM in Karlsruhe and the Technische Universitat in Berlin to focus on appropriate means of digitising threatened analog works and making them accessible. At its initial meeting this June, where potential network representatives shared their experiences, eleven countries were represented. DMU will be actively involved with documentation issues and will host this project's web presence. The Electroacoustic Music Studies Network (EMS - www.ems.dmu.aMc.uk, site under construction at the time of this paper's submission) was formed in 2004 as a collaborative initiative between all three partners. (The Sorbonne also has a collaborative agreement with the GRM.) This new organisation will be responsible for information sharing by means of conferences and other initiatives, starting with the EMS05 event (Ins05.corncordia.a) that will take place in Montreal 19-22 October this year. EMS07 will be held at De Montfort in June 2007 and EMS08 will take place in Paris. Its predecessors are discussed under 'activities' below. Another planned collaboration involves the University of Western Sydney and Hexagram in Montreal. This collaboration involves the investigation of some aspects of development within the areas of interactive music and dance as well as new opportunities involving telepresence (see, for context, ). Finally, the MTI also has another student exchange agreement with the University of Montreal. 2. PUBLIC ACTIVITIES Like any similar group, the MTI has a programme of regular activities including guest lectures, a concert series at the university and nearby Phoenix Arts Centre and day-long symposia, normally three annually some of which can be found on the MTI website. The MTI has (co-)hosted major conference events every other year since 2001. The first such event, held at De Montfort in June 2001 was called, "Music without Walls? Music without Instruments?". Its papers can be found at.wwwxvi Tdmuiac.cuk/owas. Working with the Sorbonne (Marc Battier - MINT Research Group) as well as other partners, its successor, "Electroacoustic Musics" was held in October 2003 as part of IRCAM's R6sonances event (see oesona ces20i3.irca. m rubri i6ue4hAp^ r~?bric ). EMS05 will be the third such event. Finally, the MTI is currently negotiating the possibility to co-curate an annual digital arts festival in Leicester. It would collaborate with the CCT, Phoenix Arts and other Leicester cultural venues. The MTI hosted the successful 2004 Sonic Arts Network event, Soundcircus, under the initiative of MTI member, John Young. 3. RESOURCES The MTI has been receiving significant capital injections regularly during the last six years. Part of this is due to the rapid growth of the student body. Our professional recording studio and associated smaller studios as well as music technology labs illustrate this well. Our Digital Arts Laboratory built in 2001-2002 has recently been incorporated into a much more substantial Music, Technology and Innovation Research Laboratory (MTIRL) which was built after our receiving substantial SRIF2 capital funding. The MTIRL includes a large multi-channel diffusion room and a smaller mixing room. In addition a suite of 8 workstations offer a wide range of both audio and audiovisual capabilities, including editing, filming, and mixing. A portable lab includes live and networked music equipment. The whole MTIRL is connected to the CCT by way of an Access Grid. This year, the Higher Education Funding Council for England allocated ~4.5 million in a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in the fields of music technology and dance. A new building will be built in 2006 towards this goal including one large and two smaller studio spaces for MTI students, staff and visitors alike. 4. SELECTED PROJECTS The following list of MTI projects can easily be mapped onto our main foci introduced earlier. Although it is true that the majority of our research work is creative, this area is not being treated here due to the restricted length of this article. Information regarding each individual's international activities can be found by visiting the MTI website. 1) The ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (EARS) This internet-based project is based at the MTI, directed by Atkinson and Landy and advised by an international consortium. It has been adopted by UNESCO and has become part of their 'digi-arts' initiative within their digital archive section. EARS ,  is currently a frequently cited glossary and key word index for the field of electroacoustic music studies. In 2004 the most crucial phase of this project commenced when the EARS project received a three-year major funding grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council. In the current phase, sources and resources in electroacoustic music studies will become searchable using the site's keyword index. We also intend to offer a number of translations of the glossary's contents. EARS can be found at www\.ears.dm.iacuk. 2) The Intention/Reception Project (I/R) This project focuses specifically on questions pertaining to how accessible some forms of electroacoustic music may be. Its methodology involves acquiring intention information from composers and seeking reception information from listeners of diverse
Page 00000003 levels of experience. This year, Rob Weale will earn his PhD having created the I/R project's methodology and run its first sets of tests , . Very encouraging initial results will become the focus of future publications concerning this research (e.g., ). UNESCO is negotiating the adoption of this project in the near future. 3 ) Electroacoustic Music Studies (continued) Individual research in the diverse areas of this field is being pursued by many MTI members, in particular Simon Emmerson, John Young and Leigh Landy. Young is attempting to develop a coherent view of the ways in which the sound transforming potentials of electroacoustic technology interact with modes of listening that are both 'environmentally' and 'musically' informed , . Emmerson is investigating cross-cultural opportunities  and a number of other issues including human presence in electroacoustic music . Landy is involved with access issues as well as attempting to provide a clear definition of the research field. Both Emmerson and Landy are preparing new books in this area. Furthermore, Truax, working in Canada, has contributed significantly to the areas of acoustic ecology , soundscape composition theory  and relevant areas of microsound. Some of his recent work has also focused on gender studies . 4) Spatialisation of sound Many members are involved with diverse aspects of sound spatialisation. John Richards led a particularly unusual project focusing on 'performancecontrolled sound diffusion'. This project was developed at STEIM Amsterdam. 5) Public art/sound installations Again, several MTI members are actively involved with the creation of and investigation into public access art. For example, Peter Batchelor is involved with the deployment of sound in both large and small-scale environments and in multiple dimensions (e.g., 30-channel flat-panel presentation vs. sound spheres and hemispheres) as well as multi-channel gesture-generation and dissemination, sometimes involving a trompe I 'oreille effect. John Richards and Simon Atkinson have been involved with several projects in the Leicester area. "Being Heard" involved recording children in a number of local schools in over 100 languages. The resulting sound installation reached a very large, highly enthusiastic audience of people most of whom had never been in contact with such work in their lives. See wwwxbbcccoukieesteri' sense ofaplaceshtml for further information. Finally, Bret Battey is currently making multi-media works for public art contexts. 6) Algorithm-assisted composition Ron Herrema and Bret Battey are the key figures in this area. Herrema is currently investigating various mapping procedures as well as potential uses of algorithms in improvised contexts [7}. Battey is involved with his concept of Variable-coupled Iterated map Networks (VMCN), a technique that uses hierarchical and feedback networks of iterated maps to generate richly gestural behaviours and mid-term modulations of structure . Another of Battey's projects regards formalisation in an entirely different manner. He is investigating what he calls 'expressive synthesis', that is, techniques for analysis, modelling and computer rendering of melodies such as those found in Indian classical music, in which subtle control of the continuum between scale steps - couple with modulation of amplitude and spectrum - is fundamental to expression . 7) Internet music As indicated above, Andrew Hugill is a leading figure in internet music technologies , . Beyond the previously mentioned projects, he is currently developing an Internet Orchestra and is using an Access Grid Environment for compositions and performance work. He has also made a web version of Percy Grainger's 'Random Round', wwwxiti. dmu acuki -ahu Hgill/rran m dor^ dniht~l, and is leading the MTI's diverse activities using MOO environments. As far as postgraduate research is concerned, our current MA and PhD students are working in a wide variety of areas. A selection of subjects now follows: The application of randomness in popular music Turntablist team composition Soundscape composition and collective memory The Intention/Reception Project (see above) Electroacoustic composition Multimedia and live performance Digital controllers for music The inner and outer worlds of electroacoustic sound The visual representation of electroacoustic sound Public art installations 5. STAFF LIST Full-time staff members. Prof. Leigh Landy (Director) Prof. Simon Emmerson Prof. Andrew Hugill Dr. Simon Atkinson Dr. Bret Battey Dr. Ron Herrema Dr. John Young & David Houghton (Systems) Part-time staff members. Dr. Peter Batchelor Dr. John Richards Prof. Robert Normandeau (Visiting Professor) Prof. Barry Truax (Visiting Professor) Prof. Howard Skempton (Honorary Professor) Dr. Pierre Couprie (Research Fellow) Vacancy (Research Fellow) 6. RELATIONSHIP TO TEACHING The centre's name has been used in the title of our suite of courses running from BA up to PhD. Our credo is 'research-based teaching' which implies that, wherever
Page 00000004 possible, what we offer our students is based on our collective research experience. This in no way avoids the inclusion of generic and subject-specific skills. On the contrary, our goal is to keep one eye on the vocational world whilst offering students a holistic praxis-based approach leading to their becoming 'thinking artists'. Our areas of expertise are clearly reflected in our undergraduate programme. For instance, students are all quite experienced and comfortable with working within a MOO environment in relevant aspects of their study. Interdisciplinarity with other art forms represents an integral aspect of students' creative experience, as does their working on a substantial community-based project. Electroacoustic music studies is integrated within their entire programme. In fact, students are encouraged to contextualise all of their artistic work, offering not only information about the 'how' of their work, but at least as importantly dramaturgic information about the 'why' of their creativity. Students are encouraged to work with the many guests who visit the MTI. They are also involved in a number of research initiatives as part of the triangulation model to which many MTI researchers adhere. 7. FUTURE PLANS The MTI has been a remarkable experience thus far, growing at a pace equalled by few. Although members are looking forward to a period of consolidation, the number of initiatives we have been invited to propose or join has taken us on a highly dynamic voyage. The centre members look forward to the large European collaboration concerning digitisation in the near future, but there are several other developments under current negotiation. Although the MTI expects to continue to adhere to its current areas of expertise, our next ICMC studio report may announce that the journey may have included an unexpected stop or two. 8. REFERENCES [ 1 ] Atkinson, S., Landy L. "Introducing the ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (EARS)". ICMC 2003 Proceedings. Singapore: 115-118. [2 ] Atkinson, S., Landy L. "Introducing the ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (EARS)". ICMC 2003 Proceedings. Singapore: 115-118.  Battey, B. "B6zier Spline Modeling of Pitchcontinuous Melodic Expression and Ornamentation" Computer Music Journal 28(4), 2004: 25-39.  Battey, B. "Musical Pattern Generation with Variable-coupled Iterated Map Networks", Organised Sound 9(2), 2004: 137-150.  Emmerson, S. "Crossing Cultural Boundaries through Technology", in Enders, B, Stange-Elbe, J., eds. Proceedings of the KlangArt Congress 1999. EPOS, Osnabriick, 2003: 72-80.  Emmerson, S. "From Dance! To 'Dance': Distance and Digits", Computer Music Journal 25(1), 2001: 13-20.  Herrema, R. "Architecture and Algorithms in the Composition of Analogies", Maxis Proceedings, 2002. Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, 2002: 5864.  Hugill, A., Landy, L. "The Music, Technology and Innovation Research Group (MTIRG) at De Montfort University - Studio Report". ICMC 2000 Proceedings. Berlin, 2000: 432-435.  Hugill, A. "Some Issues in the Creation of Music Online", Music without Walls? Music without Instruments? CD-ROM Proceedings. De Montfort University, Leicester, 2001.  Hugill, A., Ayesh. A. "Evolutionary Form in a Network Composition: Preliminary Report", MAXIS II 2003: Proceedings of the 2nd International Festival & Symposium of Sound and Experimental Music. Leeds, 2003: 61-65. [11 ]Landy, L. "Measuring Intention against Reception in Electroacoustic Music: a new opportunity for analysis". ICMC 2002 Proceedings. Havana, 2002: 26-29.  Landy, L., Jamieson, E. and Ng, K. "In Transit or Realising One's Aesthetic when the Technology Finally Catches Up". MAXIS II 2003: Proceedings of the 2nd International Festival & Symposium of Sound and Experimental Music. Leeds, 2003: 79-83.  Landy, L., Weale, R. "Measuring Intention against Reception in Electroacoustic Music", Diffusion (Sonic Arts Network) 10/2003: 2-6.  Landy, L. "The Intention/Reception Project" in Simoni, M. ed. Analytical Methods of Electroacoustic Music. Routledge, NY, to be published in 2005.  Truax, B. Acoustic Communication. 2nd ed. Ablex, Norwood, NH, 2001.  Truax, B. "Genres and Techniques of Soundscape Composition as Developed at Simon Fraser University", Organised Sound 7(1), 2002: 5-14.  Truax, B. "Homoeroticism and Electroacoustic Music: Absence and the Personal Voice"'' Organised Sound 8(1), 2003: 117-124.  Young, J. "The Interaction of Sound Identities in Electroacoustic Music", ICMC 2002 Proceedings. Gothenburg, 2002: 342-348. [ 19 ]Young, J. "Sound Morphology and the Articulation of Structure in Electroacoustic Music", Organised Sound 9(1) 2004: 7-14.