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Touching Sound

Health, therapy, music and interaction research
2010 on-going

Also a composition project

Touching sound: an interactive workshop concerning human computer interaction in health and music

21st June 2011, 10am-6pm, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge UK


In spite of many years of research into human computer interaction there have consistently been issues with the explicit adoption of technology in therapeutic environments, not least because of the way in which clients and practitioners view such technologies: as unnecessary and intrusive.  At the same time, there are many ways in which technology can be used positively, for instance in the spontaneous generative of aesthetically interesting artefacts as well as the exploitation of kinaesthetic and multisensory elements.

The Project

The research seeks to describe, implement and analyse work that investigates unique methods of articulating and implementing expressive gesture through physical interaction with objects.  This includes the implementation of custom-designed and built hardware and software using methods that are as close to invisible to clients and practitioners as possible while still maintaining the benefits of cutting-edge digital technologies.  In particular activities in music performance, dance and various physical and arts therapies are considered.

The project seeks to build a conclusive framework for the funding bid to the NIHR Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity (RISC) Programme, the EPSRC and the MRC.

The Workshop

The aim of the workshop is to inform, discuss these fundamental ideas, as well as related theories and innovative applications in music instrumentation, gestural and movement interaction, multisensory engagement and entrainment and synchronisation, rhythm and prosody, emotion and responsivity.

The workshop will include a practical demonstration of a potential prototype instrument.

Key outcomes of the workshop:

  • The creation of a framework for research and applications.
  • Feedback, recommended modifications and other discussion concerning the prototype, its application and development.
  • Network partners identified for potential bids including idenfication of key skills, methodologies and other technical requirements.
  • Sandbox/draft outlines of potential bid proposals.

The workshop is organised by Tommi Himberg (University of Jyvaskyla, Finland), Helen Odell-Miller (ARU Music and Health Research Group), Richard Hoadley (CoDE/DPL/MPA), Satinder Gill (Centre for Music and Science), Finland) and Ian Cross (West Road Centre for Music and Science).

Gaggle v0.1

Gagglina v0.1

Wired Mini v0.1

Wired Maxi v0.1