Hybrid Musicianship — Teaching Gestural Interaction with Traditional and Digital Instruments

Schacher, Jan C.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

This article documents a class that teaches gestural interaction and juxtaposestraditional instrumental skills with digital musical instrument concepts. Inorder to show the principles and reflections that informed the choices made indeveloping this syllabus, fundamental elements of an instrument-bodyrelationship and the perceptual import of sensori-motor integration areinvestigated. The methods used to let participants learn in practicalexperimental settings are discussed, showing a way to conceptualise andexperience the entire workflow from instrumental sound to electronictransformations by blending gestural interaction with digital musicalinstrument techniques and traditional instrumental playing skills. Thetechnical interfaces and software that were deployed are explained, focussingof the interactive potential offered by each solution. In an attempt tosummarise and evaluate the impact of this course, a number of insights relatingto this specific pedagogical situation are put forward. Finally, concreteexamples of interactive situations that were developed by the participants areshown in order to demonstrate the validity of this approach.