January 2004, Issue 64
by Sonaris Consulting, Felix Bopp, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
[formerly Music for New Media Newsletter]
You can find the online version at: http://www.sonaris.info
Human Interface Technology
Laboratory, Nottingham Institute for Research in Visual Culture (NIRV)
Recommended book: Electric
Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music
sendai mediatheque - an example,
British Stammering Association
Hit Song Science Basic - for independent musicians and songwriters,
Classic church organ with touch-sensitive
keys, intent by
Tao Group Limited
Club of Amsterdam
AI Lab - Vision Interfaces
Conferences & events
Human Interface Technology Laboratory
The Human Interface Technology Laboratory
is a research and development lab in virtual interface technology. HITL
was established in 1989 by the Washington Technology Center (WTC) to
transform virtual environment concepts and early research into practical,
market-driven products and processes. HITL research strengths include
interface hardware, virtual environments software, and human factors.
The Lab hopes to develop a new generation of human-machine interfaces
to provide solutions to challenges in a variety of domains.
Nottingham Institute for Research in Visual Culture (NIRV)
Based at the University of Nottingham's custom-built Arts Centre, the
Nottingham Institute for Research in Visual Culture (NIRV) is a forum
for new and innovative research in visual culture, and draws upon University-wide
expertise in visual culture, and with the emphasis upon interdisciplinarity.
The Institute has been established by the Department of Art History
in collaboration with the Djanogly Art Gallery, the Institute of Film
Studies, the School of American and Canadian Studies, and the Postgraduate
School of Critical Theory and Cultural Studies.
The key to the work of the Institute is in the relationships between
history, theory and Practice. The underlying objective is to bridge
academic and practice research, support young researchers, encourage
collaboration, and disseminate research through exhibitions, catalogues
and books, and the world-wide web. The Institute is concerned with all
aspects of contemporary visual culture, as well as its histories, including
fine art, public art and architecture; film, video and photography;
digital multi- and mass media.
Electric Sound: The Past and Promise of Electronic Music
By Joel Chadabe
With a truly global perspective, this vivid and readable narrative provides
a comprehensive overview of the history of electronic music. The author
draws upon his combined experience as composer, performer, researcher,
entrepreneur, and teacher to provide insight into every aspect of electronic
music, including the music itself, the instruments, and the business.
Based on more than 150 interviews with leaders in the field, this book
allows readers to understand how and why the musicians, engineers and
businessmen did what they did to develop the modern synthesizer to its
sendai mediatheque - an example
Services for visually-impaired persons: There are recorded books
for the visually impaired such as cassette tapes and DAISY. You can
either listen to the recorded books in the library or borrow them. They
also lend out recorded books by mail. These services are provided free
British Stammering Association
British Stammering Association, your first point of contact for information
and support on stammering, also known as stuttering. As the only nationwide
organisation supporting both adults and children who stammer, the BSA
is in touch with all the latest developments, new approaches to therapy,
advances in other countries, new research and technology. Our website
is constantly updated and is regularly congratulated for its excellence
as a source of accessible information on all topics related to stammering.
Hit Song Science Basic - for independent musicians and songwriters
Polyphonic's Hit Song Science (HSS) analyzes the underlying mathematical
patterns in unreleased music and compares them to the patterns in recent
hit songs. The new technology can isolate individual patterns in key
aspects of the music that humans detect and that help determine whether
or not they like a given song. For example, the dictionary describes
melody as a series of notes strung together in a meaningful pattern.
But determining what is "meaningful" is a very human and very subjective
experience. This technology is able to detect what those melody patterns
are as well as decipher patterns in other aspects of the music such
as beat, harmony, pitch, octave, fullness of sound, brilliance and chord
To have a hit song you should ideally be able to answer "yes" to the
following three questions:
1. Does the song sound like a hit?
2. Does the song have encouraging mathematical patterns?
3. Does the songs have the right kind of promotion for the current market?
We can only help you answer the second question. But our research has
shown that if the answer to that question is "no" your song most likely
will not see commercial success and music labels are taking this research
very seriously. You should too.
Through our partnership with Loudeye Technologies, a Seattle-based company
we have been able to analyze approximately 3.5 million songs. This includes
almost everything that has been released by the music labels since the
1950's until the present time. The database is updated weekly with new
releases. The analysis application is able to "listen to" any CD and
isolate patterns in many musical events, some of which are melody, harmony,
tempo, pitch, octave, beat, rhythm, fullness of sound, noise, brilliance,
and chord progression. This is a process called Spectral Deconvolution.
Each song is then mapped onto a grid we call the music universe and
is positioned according to its mathematical characteristics. Each song
is represented by a dot on the universe and the songs on one end of
the universe are vastly different from songs on the other end of the
universe. Songs with mathematical similarities are positioned very close
to one another.
"A few people have expressed frustration and dismay that technology
could be used to help identify hit songs. To those people, I would like
to say that our technology is to music what x-rays were to medicine
when they were first introduced. X-rays gave us the capability to see
fractured bones and bruised organs, but they would be fractured and
bruised even if the technology did not exist to detect them. We have
detected a number of hit-song parameters. We didn't invent them. These
parameters have always been there and we hope that by detecting their
presence or lack thereof in your music, it will help you be more creative
and become better at what you do." - Mike McCready, CEO, Polyphonic
For the full story, please visit:
Classic church organ with touch-sensitive
A Swiss musician has accomplished a feat composer Johan-Sebastian Bach
once dreamt of more than 250 years ago by making a classic church organ
with touch-sensitive keys.
The invention by Daniel Glaus, a professor at Bern and Zurich conservatories,
allows the player to select the sensitivity of the pipe organ's keys
and to modulate the tone of each note by pressing harder or more softly.
Glaus's changes to the design of the pipes also enable shifts in tone
after a key has first been struck, bringing a sound ranging from the
staccato of a xylophone to a flowing and mellow legato on the same instrument,
according to the Swiss National Science Foundation.
A 75-pipe prototype has been built in a Protestant church in the north-western
Swiss town of Biel, the foundation, which funded the project, said in
a statement. "What a difference with the traditional organ where the
keys are like switches that turn the sound on or off," Glaus said. "The
possibilities of the instrument have surpassed my maddest hopes. This
organ offers an infinite number of nuanced tones," he added.
Tao Group Limited
intent is a high-performance universal
multimedia platform designed to execute content on a wide range of digital
consumer and professional appliances such as mobile phones, PDAs, digital
TVs, digital cameras, games consoles and in-car systems. The development
of an open and advanced modular synthesizer and audio plug-in framework
allows the iSS to augment the standard MIDI wavetable sounds with any
algorithm or third-party audio plug-in. Tao believes this development
will provide the catalyst for music software developers to create music
applications and tools that can feature 3rd party synth modules and
effects units, allowing the market for mobile audio plug-ins to grow
and evolve just as it did in the desktop arena.
: Club of Amsterdam
MIT AI Lab - Vision Interfaces
Interfaces to the digital world are exploding in terms of access points
and bandwidth, yet the ease of interaction by human users is hardly
advancing. We would like to make computers more natural
and easy to use by allowing them to use the same visual interface modalities
that humans take for granted. Simple things, like presence,
posture, and gaze, are extremely important
cues in communication between people, and they should be with computers
Bandwidth symmetry is also a priority; users should have the same bandwidth
into an interface as they experience from the interface.They can be
inundated with sound and graphics so why can't they shout and gesture
back? We're exploiting machine perception techniques and the rapidly
increasing computational power of common workstations to build vision-based
perceptual user interfaces, and integrate them with speech interfaces
and user-interface technologies. Making computers interact with people
using natual human interface modalities is the ultimate goal of the
Vision Interfaces Project.
Vision-Aided Acoustic Processing
This project integrates microphone arrays and cameras for use in perceptive
environments. The ceiling-mounted microphone array uses slight differences
in audio signals at different microphones to amplify sounds coming
from selected locations in the room. The array allows for multiple
audio sources to be separated and allows users to interface speech
recognition systems without the user of a close-talking microphone.
WATSON: Adaptive Tracking System
The real-time object tracker uses range and appearance information
from a stereo camera to recover the 3D rotation and translation of
objects, or of the camera itself. The system can be connected to a
face detector and used as an accurate head tracker. Additional supporting
algorithms can improve the accuracy of the tracker.
Person Tracking with Stereo Range Sensors
Three camera modules, each consisting of stereo camera and a computer,
are situated in the room. The cameras are arranged to view the entire
room and continually estimate 3D-point clouds of the objects in the
room. Foreground points are passed to an integration module which
clusters the points into blobs that represent people. From these blobs,
features such as person location and posture are extracted.
Communication Via Eye Blinks
A real-time vision system that is intended to provide an alternate
input modality to allow people with severe disabilities to access
a computer. The system automatically detects a user's blinks and accurately
measures their duration. Voluntary long blinks trigger mouse clicks
while involuntary short blinks are ignored. The system enables communication
using blink patterns: sequences of long and short blinks which are
interpreted as semiotic messages. (Collaborative project)
This project examines the interaction between physical and perceptual
interfaces in games and virtual environments. Estimates of body position
and pose are the raw measurements of this perceptual interface but
must be transformed into abstractions of gesture, motion, and action
and mapped to application controls to be responsive as an input mechanism.
The mapping of recognized tokens to controls depends on both the application
and the structure of the physical space.
In a constraint-free environment, where users move freely, identification
must be made view-independent so that no particular pose of the user
be required. It is a difficult task for a system consisting of a small
number of cameras mounted in fixed locations since most of the recognition
schemes to date are not robust to significant pose invariance. Our
approach to this problem is based on the efficient algorithms for
constructing Image-Based Visual Hull, which allow rendering a synthetic
textured view of an object from arbitrary viewpoints. We apply this
methodology for gait and face recognition.
" Hado creates words Words are the vibrations
of nature Therefore beautiful words create beautiful nature Ugly words
create ugly nature This is the root of the universe "
by Masaru Emoto
[Source: hado.net] The Japanese researcher in question is Dr. Masaru
Emoto, chief of the Hado institute in Tokyo. He is the author of many
books concerning the phenomenon of ' Hado'. The two ideograms comprising
this expression Hado (pronounced hadou to rhyme with shadow) literally
mean "wave" and "move". This following definition is how Dr. Emoto himself
describes the phenomenon, which led him to a series of remarkable discoveries
pertaining to the nature of water.
Hado: The intrinsic vibrational pattern at the atomic level in all matter.
The smallest unit of energy. Its basis is the energy of human consciousness.
A rapid understanding of Hado quickly spread throughout Japan as Dr.
Emoto's theory gained ground. The word subsequently became part of daily
language. "The Hado of this place is really low. Let's leave." "That
person has a really powerful Hado." "Let's change the Hado of this environment."
Conversational pieces such as this now abound in Japan and it is largely
due to his revolutionary photographs of water crystals under high magnification.
Frozen crystals of water? Yes, like this..
"Arigatou" -Thank you in Japanese
This is not just any crystallised molecule
of water however. What has put Dr. Emoto at the forefront of the Hado
phenomenon is his proof that thoughts and feelings affect PHYSICAL reality.
By producing different Hado through written and spoken words, as well
as music and literally presenting it to the SAME water samples, the
water appears to "change its expression". The exquisite beauty of the
above crystal of frozen tap water is clearly the result of Hado being
projected at it. The expression of human gratitude (arigatou) is thus
immediately reflected in water. Well, if this appears to be the case
then let's see what other 'expressions' water may have...
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Copyright © 2003 Sonaris Consulting, Felix Bopp. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without written
permission is prohibited. Sonaris Consulting cannot accept responsibility
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