Designing Digital Musical Interactions in Experimental Contexts

Marquez-Borbon, Adnan and Gurevich, Michael and Fyans, A. Cavan and Stapleton, Paul

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

As NIME’s focus has expanded beyond the design reportswhich were pervasive in the early days to include studies andexperiments involving music control devices, we report on aparticular area of activity that has been overlooked: designsof music devices in experimental contexts. We demonstratethis is distinct from designing for artistic performances, witha unique set of novel challenges. A survey of methodologicalapproaches to experiments in NIME reveals a tendency torely on existing instruments or evaluations of new devicesdesigned for broader creative application. We present twoexamples from our own studies that reveal the merits ofdesigning purpose-built devices for experimental contexts.