Affine Tuning

Embodied Interaction And Dynamic Composition

Master Thesis documentation by Marc-André Weibezahn
University of the Arts Bremen, Department Digital Media, 2021

This site hosts the documentation of my master thesis. If you want to know more about my other works, please visit maweibezahn.com.

Acknowledgements

I thank my supervisors Prof. Dennis Paul and Prof. Kilian Schwoon from the University of the Arts Bremen for their support and patience, Kilian Schwartz for help with musical theory and technicalities; and I am grateful for the ongoing support and inspiration from Mahshid Mahboubifar.

Preface

This work is my third approach to develop interactive music that reacts to the body movements of the player. Since the second semester of my studies in the MA program in digital media, this topic has occupied me.

In my opinion, the medium “sound” in interaction with digital media—except for consumption—is much less appreciated than visual forms, except maybe for the field of video games. This is expressed by the fact that we look at screens and interact via visual interfaces every day, but only slowly are sound-based interfaces such as voice-controlled assistants entering the mass market. One anecdote to illustrate how these are still in their infancy: The voice assistant “Alexa” in Amazon’s “Echo” devices can be set to a “whisper” mode. The assistant confirms this activation - but at normal volume. Only after that it whispers.

A second observation is that bodily interaction seems to get more and more popular in digital interactions, be it direct manipulation like in computer games (often in virtual reality) or in a more mediated way, as performers for others on social video platforms (often using augmented reality applications, like filters etc.).

These two findings are not the main motivation for my work in this field. But they are undoubtedly a further indication that there is something valuable and worthwhile to be found here that I set out to explore.

I am by no means the first person who finds this topic fascinating and can’t quite get away from it. Two artists have told me that they have been occupied with this topic for years and that it has sometimes even been a burden to them. At times, I had similar feelings in the process of this work, and felt my enthusiasm for it almost like a curse. Inspired by this, I named one interactive composition Nefrin, which means “curse” in Farsi.

Marc-André Weibezahn, Leipzig 2021

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