Designing Sound for Recreation and Well-Being

Andersson, Anders-Petter and Cappelen, Birgitta and Olofsson, Fredrik

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

In this paper we explore how we compose sound for an interactive tangible and mobile interface; where the goal is to improve health and well-being for families with children with disabilities. We describe the composition process from how we decompose a linear beat-based and vocal sound material; recompose it with real-time audio synthesis and composition rules into interactive Scenes. Scenes that make it possible for the user to select, explore and recreate different “sound worlds” with the tangible interface as an instrument; create and play with it as a friend; improvise and create; or relax with it as an ambient sounding furniture. We continue discussing a user story, how the Scenes are recreated by amateur users, persons with severe disabilities and family members; improvising with the mobile tangibles. We discuss composition techniques for mixing sound, tangible-physical and lighting elements in the Scenes. Based on observations we explore how a diverse audience in the family and at school can recreate and improvise their own sound experience and play together with others. We conclude by discussing the possible impact of our findings for the NIME-community; how the techniques of decomposing, recomposing and recreating sound, based on a relational perspective, could contribute to the design of new instruments for musical expression.