As I slowly stumble through a PhD; a collection of things that may one day be a thesis...

My research is set within the field of Digital Luthiery and explores the influence of construction material and sound production in the design and use of digital musical instruments (dmis).

The research is conduction through a series of user studies (outlined below) in which interaction data is gathered as participants imagine (study 1), create (study 2) and perform on (Study 3) digital musical instrument that exhibit particular (and often constrained) material properties. This is facilitated through the use of a range of real and physically modeled materials and sounds. These real and virtual elements are lovingly crafted into musical possibilities by wonderful humans, while generating quantitative and qualitative data. A mix methods approach is implemented, which in combination with a micro-phenomenological interview technique seeks to quantify and rationalise user experiences.

The Life of an Idea

Industry Placement

- Bela/Touchkeys

The focus of my industry placement with Bela / Touchkeys was the development of a new musical instrument using the Touchkey sensors. Along the way the sensors were assessed against various common benchmarks of performance in digital musical instrument design, and have since grown into the Bela Trill range.

A surprising research outcome was the strength of material based expectation in peoples reflection on new musical instrument prototypes. The project saw the development of Instrument X and an idea was born. More...

Study One

- Do We Speak Sensor? Cultural      Constraints of Embodied Interaction

Following the outcomes of the placement, Study One sought to explore the notion of cultural expectations and understandings of digital musical instruments based on their physicality and obvious sensor modalities. 'Non-functional' prototype instruments were used to probe participants expectations of interaction with a range of materials and sensor modalities (both imagined and explicit).

The outcome of the research demonstrated a distinct 'machine centred' approach to interaction with obvious sensor modalities in which the user ...

...material-centred approach


Study Two

New Expression for Musical Interfaces: Material Affordance in DMI Design

Study Two was a design based research study which added sound to the experience, by implemented physical moddeling to create moddled timbres and virtual materials.


Study Three

If the cat barks do we scratch it, and other micro-phenomenological musings....

In development


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