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Gesture-sound interaction in digital media

This event will be delivered by Frederic Bevilacqua, Head of the Real-Time Musical Interactions Team IRCAM- Centre Pompidou, STMS-CNRS UPMC Paris, France

Frederic will present an overview of the research and applications performed by the Real-Time Musical Interactions Team of IRCAM (Paris).


We have developed for the last seven years various methods and tools for computer-based gesture analysis, with the general goal to use body movements to interact with sonic and/or visual environments. This research has largely been influenced by sustained collaborations with musicians/composers and dancers/choreographers.

We will present some of these works, focusing on gesture research and interfaces. In particular, we will present the cases of musical interfaces and various experiments we have been carried on in music pedagogy. We will also present dance performances and interactive installations we have collaborated on.

In music, we studied physical gestures of musicians such as the bow movement of violin players. This allowed us to formalize key concepts about continuous gesture control, gesture vocabulary and co-articulation (similarly to speech production). This fundamental research led us to design augmented instruments, incorporating these challenging concepts. In parallel, we are designing new interfaces and paradigms to control sonic environments, individually or collectively. In particular, we are developing tools to re-perform sound and music with such interfaces. In particular, we developed a "gesture follower" system that allows for the recognition and synchronization of gestures with sound materials.

In dance, we will present performances and installations, where we used the same technology than for music. While designed with different goals and aesthetics, two of them use a similar interaction principle: the visitor is invited to dance “imitating” dance material displayed on a large screen. This brings us back to open questions with musical interfaces: how can we learn gestures and the interaction with digital media, and how this affects our gesture and sound perception?

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Week beginning 30th March
March 2011

Content last modified: 28 Nov 2014

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