FOR MUSICAL INTERFACES
[w007] workshop facilitated by Thor Magnusson
with our work on developing the ixi software, we (Thor Magnusson and
Enrike Hurtado) have given presentations, lectures and workshops in
various European institutions, from universities to music or software
art festivals. In the last year we have developed a workshop where we
introduce the techniques we’ve been developing and using in our own
work, but also other open source platforms to create music, music software,
installations, instruments and other performances.
ixi workshop is a short but intensive course where participants get
in touch with concepts and technologies related to the creation, design
and production of experimental music interfaces or other audio-visual
works. In an approximately five days workshop (depending on the wish
of the host), participants get to know and work with different prototyping
tools, both for physical and virtual interface prototyping (Director,
Flash, Max/MSP, iCube, etc.) and for sound engine prototyping (Pure
Data, Max/MSP, Supercollider, jMax, etc.). Communication protocols connecting
or interfacing the various environments are also explained (MIDI and
OSC – Open Sound Control). We present various works of other artists
made with these technologies and discuss the theoretical and aesthetical
impact of these works.
aim of the workshop is to introduce the basics of these technologies
based on our experience of developing our own software, participating
in festivals and conferences and working in academies and art institutions.
Participants will be encouraged to propose a small project to work on,
either individually or in a group, which forces
them to face the real problems and concepts of the explained technologies.
We think that real understanding involves practise and not just theoretical
explanations. In order to get people started, we present the participants
with ready-made code examples of sound generation, filters, effects
and communication channels. This code can be easily changed and adjusted
to participant’s individual project. The aim is not to go into technical
details of the physics of sound or programming practises, but rather
on how we use these programming environments for human expression.
have given workshops that are quite technical when the participants
have had those wishes, but we have also given workshops which are more
theoretical, experimental and with discussions about the aesthetical
issues relating to interactive music/sound, generative music, installations
and software art and free software. It all depends on the
context in which we enter. The participants in the workshop do not have
to have any programming background, musical background nor design, but
it would surely be of an advantage. The workshop is about ideas, not
- Project description. Participants make projects either individually
or in a group.
- Introduction to ixi software, our philosophy and way of working.
- Introduction to Max/MSP, Pure Data, Supercollider and jMax.
- Introduction to building interfaces: Director, Flash, Java (virtual)
and iCube and other sensor technologies (physical).
- Lectures and discussions about key aspects of design, such as interactivity,
differences between traditional and virtual instruments, generative
processes, digital sound, and making music with computers.
- Project work. People work, either individually or in groups, on creating
software that can be used as tools for music creation, installations,
sound effects or related to video.
during the RAM5 - 5 hours (usally approx. 5 days)
Bibliography, workshop schedule and code examples will be on our website
at least 3 weeks before the workshop, so participants can read, experiment
and prepare for the workshop.
January, 2004: Urova University, Lapland/Finland
November, 2003: Ultrasound Festival, UK.
May, 2003: Arteleku, San Sebastian, Spain.
February, 2003: Media Lab UIAH, Helsinki, Finland.
November, 2002: Huddersfield University, U.K.
+ Several lectures about music software and interfaces as well as ixi
software presentations in universities and institutions around Europe:
Art Academy in Vienna, Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona; Faculty
of Art and Design of Hull; Department of Electroacustic Music at the
University of Huddersfield, ICA in London, MIT-Media Lab in Dublin,
University of Copenhagen, Piknik Frequency in Helsinki.