’Blending Dimensions’ when Composing for DMI and Symphonic Orchestra

Hödl, Oliver

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

With a new digital music instrument (DMI), the interface itself, the sound generation, the composition, and the performance are often closely related and even intrinsically linked with each other. Similarly, the instrument designer, composer, and performer are often the same person. The Academic Festival Overture is a new piece of music for the DMI Trombosonic and symphonic orchestra written by a composer who had no prior experience with the instrument. The piece underwent the phases of a composition competition, rehearsals, a music video production, and a public live performance. This whole process was evaluated reflecting on the experience of three involved key stakeholder: the composer, the conductor, and the instrument designer as performer. ‘Blending dimensions’ of these stakeholder and decoupling the composition from the instrument designer inspired the newly involved composer to completely rethink the DMI’s interaction and sound concept. Thus, to deliberately avoid an early collaboration between a DMI designer and a composer bears the potential for new inspiration and at the same time the challenge to seek such a collaboration in the need of clarifying possible misunderstandings and improvement.