/ Using Singing Voice Vibrato as a Control Parameter in a Chamber Opera
~ICMC 2015 - Sept. 25 - Oct. 1, 2015 - CEMI, University of North Texas Using Singing Voice Vibrato as a Control Parameter in a Chamber Opera Anna Einarsson KMH Royal College of Music, Stockholm anna.einarsson@kmh. se ABSTRACT Even though a vast number of tools exist for real time voice analyses, only a limited number of them focus specifically on singing voice, and even less on features seen from a perceptual viewpoint. This paper presents a first step towards a multi-feature analysis-tool of the singing voice in a composer-researcher collaboration. A new method is used for extracting the vibrato extent of a singer, which is then mapped to a sound generation module. This was applied in the chamber opera Ps! I will be home soon. The experiences of the singer performing the part with the vibrato-detection were collected qualitatively and analyzed through Interpretative Phenomenological Analyses (IPA). The results revealed some interesting mixed feelings of both comfort and uncertainty in the interactive setup. 1. INTRODUCTION The singing voice is one of the most versatile instruments, with an abundance of different parameters for pitch, timbre, timing and speech control. Potentially this makes it ideal to use as control signal in interactive music. However, when making an overview of accessible tools to use for analyses of singing voice in real time, and to be implemented in artistic work, some tools still seem to be missing, or at least are not so readily available. These are tools that mimic the multifaceted characteristics of the singing voice from a perceptual viewpoint. Thus to make new implementations from compositional needs seem almost mandatory in a creative process. This paper is an offspring of one such collaborative effort, where the perceptual viewpoint is put in the foreground. The first step was to elaborate on relevant features to extract. They were chosen as to be easily integrated in a musical work realised live, and to be used by singers unfamiliar in working with live electronics. We envision a multifeatured "listening unit" that was able to extract several different parameters from the singing voice. Copyright: ~ 2015 Anna Einarsson et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Anders Friberg KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm afriberg@kth.se In this work, we started with singing voice vibrato and developed an extraction method inspired by a previous model [1]. In the below described context of the chamber opera Ps! Jag kommer snart hem! [2] we then explored a beta-version of the vibrato extraction model, in relation to how it may be used as a mean for affecting subsequent electronic sounds in computer assisted composition, and how the performer experienced this part in both the cognitive and emotional realm. 2. VIBRATO AS SINGING VOICE FEATURE Vibrato is one of the salient features that characterises the voice [3]. It is a useful feature also due to the relative ease with which singers can isolate and manipulate it. This said with the reservation that it does not apply to singers from all styles of music [4]. Depending on the tradition the singer emanates from different styles call for different vibrato utilisation, [5] but there are also individual differences; the vibrato is more or less an integral part of the singer's individual timbral identity [6]. Thus the amount of effort as well as comfort in manipulating this parameter may differ among singers. Interesting to note is then that technology in this way can work in two ways: both by being affected by the voice and by informing the voice of its (perhaps up to this point unexplored) resources and possibilities. Having said that vibrato may be challenging to alter for the individual singer; Vibrato is not an altogether uncomplicated matter to make use of in composition either. Perceptually it is part of the affective prosody that reveals emotional states to the listener [7]. The amount of vibrato can be used as a deliberate cursor for style, or its absence a demarcation against undesired associations. Previous research on singing voice vibrato detection has for example focussed on how to distinguish singing from speaking voice, [8] or identification of singers in order to form a so-called singer ID [9] [10]. 3. SOFTWARE MODULES The different software modules are implemented in MAX/MSP and consist of three parts: The vibrato extraction, the mapping, and the sound generation modules. -18 -
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