Gestural Embodiment of Environmental Sounds: an Experimental Study

Caramiaux, Baptiste and Susini, Patrick and Bianco, Tommaso and Bevilacqua, Frédéric and Houix, Olivier and Schnell, Norbert and Misdariis, Nicolas

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

In this paper we present an experimental study concerninggestural embodiment of environmental sounds in a listeningcontext. The presented work is part of a project aiming atmodeling movement-sound relationships, with the end goalof proposing novel approaches for designing musical instruments and sounding objects. The experiment is based onsound stimuli corresponding to "causal" and "non-causal" sounds. It is divided into a performance phase and an interview. The experiment is designed to investigate possiblecorrelation between the perception of the "causality" of environmental sounds and different gesture strategies for thesound embodiment. In analogy with the perception of thesounds’ causality, we propose to distinguish gestures that "mimic" a sound’s cause and gestures that "trace" a sound’smorphology following temporal sound characteristics. Results from the interviews show that, first, our causal soundsdatabase lead to consistent descriptions of the action at theorigin of the sound and participants mimic this action. Second, non-causal sounds lead to inconsistent metaphoric descriptions of the sound and participants make gestures following sound "contours". Quantitatively, the results showthat gesture variability is higher for causal sounds that noncausal sounds.