Garth Paine é professor na School of Arts Media and Engineering na Universidade do Estado do Arizona. Seu trabalho inovador envolvendo interatividade na música eletrônica e nas artes midiáticas é reconhecido internacionalmente, sendo exibidos na Austrália, Europa, Japão, Estados Unidos, Hong Kong, Coréia e Nova Zelândia. Na academia, Prof. Paine contribui ativamente com a comunidade de novas interfaces para expressão musical (incluindo a conferência NIME), tendo sido editor convidado do períodico ‘Organised Sound‘em diversas ocasiões. Mais sobre seu trabalho pode ser encontrado no seu site.
What is your design process for new interfaces for musical expression (NIME)? Do other people take part in this process? What are their roles?
I have tended to utilse existing hardware tools and interfaces rather than develop my own – in the case of interactive dance, I have utilized these wireless sensors from infusion systems for muscle sensing and brainwave sensing in addition to accelerometers. The utilization of existing Interface technologies means that I do not have to place substantial time in addressing associated hardware challenges, instead focusing on the development of mappings and musical algorithms that produce an intimate and tight morphological relationship between the input actions and the musical outcome.
What are the main challenges in designing NIMEs?
In my view it is extremely difficult to develop meaningful relationships between the actions enacted on an interface and the qualities of the musical output. These relationships are clear and implicit in acoustic instruments and have formed an important basis for an audiences appreciation (conditioning) of the relationship between excitation and musical outcome. I have written quite a lot about the idea of morphology, and how the energy of excitation action should be reflected in the real-time sonification output. For this to be successful the interface needs to provide more than a simple control function and be capable of dynamic multi-factorial simultaneous control streams – the Karlax is a good example of such an interface.
“The NIME we create are not used outside the academey”. What do you think about this statement?
I largely agree with this statement. It is true that if you go to a local music venue you almost never see a new interface. This trend is slowly changing with infrared sensing on synthesizes etc., however a substantial paradigm shift is a long way off. It is important to note that companies that have invested heavily in developing a commercial produce (such as Eigenharp and Karlax etc) have had very little commercial success and not changed the face of musical performance. Many many interfaces have come and gone without a substantial change in musical practice. I believe this is in part because the paradigm for design is floored. I recently wrote a paper for ‘Organised Sound’ proposing a Techno-Somatic dimension as critical to the design process. I think there is a lot of work to do an understanding how acoustic musical instruments are successful and what is missing in the current design paradigm for NIME which I think has become self-referential and in danger of becoming largely irrelevant to the larger musical community. We must not allow that to happen as there is a great deal of potential in NIME.