State-of-the-art Technologies

Multimedia Controllers for Live Performance

MovementThe main approaches of the project are to stimulate and support work in the area of Live Performance and Multimedia through a combination of surveying contemporary creative practice, specification and production of software and individual creative practice. Project outcomes include: -

A detailed survey of multimedia use by practitioners from a range of performance traditions. Specifications of a generic system designed to support innovative work in the field including a theoretical and computational model.

A working system for artists suitable for public release. A series of creative works demonstrating novel possibilities of working with multimedia in live performance.

Specialised software packages are available for the field of live performance; MAX/MSP and Isadora are widely used and there are also collaborative music tools such as Peersynth, Atlantic Waves and Auracle and real-time synchronisation systems such as Aura and commercial packages designed for controlling theme park attractions. However as the range of media used in live performance grows, all these packages become either less useful in terms of their applicability, or require more and more advanced technical skills to apply which renders them unavailable to practitioners focussed on their own creative projects.

My research aims to discover if a generic system to support multimedia work in live performance is feasible and, if so, can the features of such a system be identified and a system developed? Such a package would have to be flexible enough to allow for all the individual freedoms to make choices of method and technical means associated with creative work, yet be useful enough to provide real support for artists so that they wouldnít have to start from scratch each time a project was begun.

It would not seek to cover every use-case; just as with software designed for other areas of application (e.g. text-processing), some projects would need a dedicated system due to their particular demands. Any generic system would also have to be as transparent as possible in use and require little or no special equipment or training to use; indeed it would have to work seamlessly with all the technical resources and learnt skills that were already being used by artists in making and presenting their performance-based work.

For further information please contact:
Mr Ian Willcock
Email: ian [at]