NIME, Musicality and Practice-led Methods

Green, Owen

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

To engage with questions of musicality is to invite into consideration a complex network of topics beyond the mechanics of soundful interaction with our interfaces. Drawing on the work of Born, I sketch an outline of the reach of these topics. I suggest that practice-led methods, by dint of focussing on the lived experience where many of these topics converge, may be able to serve as a useful methodological ‘glue’ for NIME by helping stimulate useful agonistic discussion on our objects of study, and map the untidy contours of contemporary practices. I contextualise this discussion by presenting two recently developed improvisation systems and drawing from these some starting suggestions for how attention to the grain of lived practice could usefully contribute to considerations for designers in terms of the pursuit of musicality and the care required in considering performances in evaluation.