Perry R. Cook é professor emérito de Ciência da Computação e Música na Universidade de Princeton, onde ele fundou o Princeton Sound Lab e a Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk). Interessado em áudio digital e modelagem física, Cook possui quase 30 anos de experiência criando novas interfaces para expressão musical, tendo publicado centenas de trabalhos nos principais jornais e conferências científicas da área. É também cofundador do ChucK –  uma poderosa linguagem de programação para síntese sonora e criação musical. Mais sobre suas pesquisas 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’m pretty much a “solo act” in design (save for some joint projects with Dexter Morrill, Dan Trueman, Colby Leider, and others). I also design a device with a specific piece in mind. I’m really composing the piece, the performance, and the interface at the same time. Please read my series of articles and talks on these topics:

What are the main challenges in designing NIMEs?
I’ve written a lot on this topic, even revisiting some of my original notions and opinions.  See those references above.


 “The NIME we create are not used outside the academey”. What do you think about this statement?
I think it’s nonsense.  One, the NIMEs I create are for me to play, on my pieces.  Audiences see and hear those pieces and enjoy them (or at least puzzle at them). So my purpose is accomplished. Two, the world abounds with lots of NIMEs now.  Some were created by our academic community (Bjork toured with the ReacTable, Imogen Heap wears a sensor glove, …), others NIMES in use in the world were inspired by our work.  Depending on who you mean by “we,” the MONOME, TenOriON, countless new pads, sensors, and systems, etc. are used all the time out there in the world, including the “controllerists” of Electronic Dance Music. Finally, lots of instruments have been invented over the centuries of music technology.  Sousa had a problem he wanted to solve, and the Sousaphone resulted. Adolph Sax invented hundreds of instruments, and only about 4 survived to be popular today.  I’m sure many inventors of the past moped in their homes and labs worrying that “nobody is using my NIME”.  But life is too short for that. We should create and use our creations, make them available to others if we or they like, and not fret about creating an instrument as popular as the violin (or the Theremin, which steadily grows in popularity).