Audio-haptic relationships as compositional and performance strategies
Hayes, Lauren Sarah
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As a performer of firstly acoustic and latterly electronic and electro-instrumental music, I constantly seek to improve my mode of interaction with the digital realm: that is, to achieve a high level of sensitivity and expression. This thesis illustrates reasons why making use of haptic interfaces—which offer physical feedback and resistance to the performer—may be viewed as an important approach in addressing the shortcomings of some the standard systems used to mediate the performer’s engagement with various sorts of digital musical information. By examining the links between sound and touch, and the performer-instrument relationship, various new compositional and performance strategies start to emerge. I explore these through a portfolio of original musical works, which span the continuum of composition and improvisation, largely based around performance paradigms for piano and live electronics. I implement new haptic technologies, using vibrotactile feedback and resistant interfaces, as well as exploring more metaphorical connections between sound and touch. I demonstrate the impact that the research brings to the creative musical outcomes, along with the implications that these techniques have on the wider field of live electronic musical performance.