Hands On Computer Simulation of Music Evolution

Workshop at the
1st Conference on Computer Simulation of Musical Creativity
17th June 2016. University of Huddersfield. UK.

In this workshop, Dr Marcelo Gimenes will introduce the iMe (Interactive Musical Environments) computer system, a multi-agent platform designed to support experiments with musical creativity and evolution in artificial societies. The theoretical and technical challenges of each one of its components, from the perceptive, cognitive and generative to the decision-making and life-cycle models will be explained. Many of these are inspired on the biological evolutionary principles applied to music through the framework of Music Memetics. After a theoretical introduction, participants will be able to experiment with the system and observe how an initial pool of music samples could potentially give rise to new musical styles due to a history of successive interactions between the multiple agents in the environment.

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Embodied iSound

This year’s main theme of the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival gave composer Marcelo Gimenes the motto and inspiration to create Embodied iSound. “Frontiers: expanding musical imagination” is in fact an invitation for reflection upon the limitless abilities of human’s musical creativeness: where we come from, where we are going to.

Another source of inspiration comes from Musicians Without Borders, an international organisation based in Amsterdam that promotes programs and activities with local musicians and groups in communities that suffer from the effects of conflict. In MwB’s own words: “using the power of music to bridge divides, connect communities, and heal the wounds of war”. Musicians Without Borders kindly authorised the use of audio taken from some of its projects as part of the Embodied iSound composition.

Embodied iSound is based on these ideas. Music is “organised sound”, of course, but it is also a medium through which we all communicate. It is therefore important to understand how this communication happens, why and what we communicate through music. The general idea of the piece is that we can only achieve a better understanding about these questions by mentally, physically and emotionally experiencing what happens when we cross (stylistic, geographical, and historical) musical frontiers. For that reason, the piece requires that members of the audience become active participants (as opposed to just passive listeners) of the musical experience, controlling the sound that is produced from the space where it is projected. Embodiment is not just about the body; it is about action and participation.

Technology is what allows this participation, mediating what happens between the physical world (the sound), our minds and personal enjoyment. To achieve that, the piece is supported by a distributed computer system called Levinsky Music which includes a smartphone app running on participants’ iOS devices and a server running on a desktop computer.

Embodied iSound was conceived as an interactive experience supported by a two-way communication between a music engine and the performers. As real instruments, smartphones become an extension of the audience/performer’s bodies. Movement and perception are intimately interconnected: what you hear influences the way you move and the way you move determines what you hear.

Welcome to this embodied listening/performance experience. Have a nice journey across frontiers of musical imagination.

Embodied iSound will be performed on 27/02/2016 at 17:30h. Venue: The Crosspoint in Roland Levinsky Building at Plymouth University.

If you want to know more about the Festival, click here.

Here you can hear a short segment of the composition (the full music will be available after the Festival):

 

 

 

2016 Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival

This year’s Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival (PACMF) will be at Plymouth University, from 26 to 28 February. Pianist and composer Marcelo Gimenes will play in three events:

Performance without borders (sound installation by Pierre Largeron and Marcelo Gimenes):

“Performance without borders is born from a meeting of music and technology that challenges the idea of a live show, asking members of the audience to input their musical ideas simply through a mobile phone application, extending the boundaries of performance to the limits of the Internet

Embodied iSound and (sound installation by Marcelo Gimenes):

Embodied iSound is an immersive sound ride across frontiers of sonic spaces that members of the public will be invited to enjoy and, at the same time, control in real time with their own hands using iOS-based smartphone devices from the centre stage of the installation”

Bat Wars: The Four Awaken:

Imagine a movie in which Darth Vader meets Batman. In this performance four computer movie-bots interact with each other using artificial intelligence (AI). Their dialogue is generated live during the performance and they emotionally evolve and communicate together, with four characters acting like Darth Vader, Batman, Superman, and Luke Skywalker. A classical violinist and pianist provide a live soundtrack which, because the bots can hear through a microphone, further manipulates the bots’ emotions.

You can find more information here: http://cmr.soc.plymouth.ac.uk/event.htm