Affect Formations

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2nd Graphical Score

November 24th at 9:27pm

Whilst the days are getting shorter I have been enjoying what daylight I can get in my studio. The second graphical score (see below) has now been handed out to two live coders/composers Shelly Knotts and Nick Collins. I'm curious to hear what they come up with.

file My sound card has also arrived and so I will start this week on some of the sound compositions exploring timbre. In fact I am just getting ready to test it works first.

The second interface for the live performance using biosignals has also made some progress, as it is almost ready to start recording the various biosignals we can get with our sensors: heart rate, EEG and GSR. We (myself and Nick Collins) will listen to distinct pieces of music/sound compositions that make us feel one of the following eight emotional states: happy, sad, angry, excited, calm, tender, annoyed and scared. The biosignals thus captured will then be used to train a classifier that can detect these states. In a performance scenario the system will then respond with animated graphics and sound based on detecting these emotions in the two performers.

And last but not least, the visual survey has now been taken by 17 people. Many thanks, and if you haven't done it yet, do have a go. All you need to do is click the participate button on the top right of this screen and follow the instructions. Only those done till the end (32 images) are saved for research purposes. But if you get tired in the middle you can take a break and resume after a few minutes, just keep the window open.

More next week!

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1st graphical score

November 19th at 7:16pm

Yes, the art making is in progress. As I'm waiting for enough people to have done the survey on this site (14 done... great and thanks! Only 486 to go! Please have a go, it's fun, honestly. Just click the participate button to the right and be guided through) before continuing on the 'In a State' interface, I am developing some graphical scores.

The first one is very large, almost 3 x 2 meters and has already been shared with two musicians/composers. John Snijders who teaches performance at Durham University will do a piano improvisation on it and Shelly Knots, performer and improvisor of live electronic and live-coded music and PhD student at Durham University will explore it with her postgraduate improvisation group and/or do a solo live coded version. The instructions I gave with the score so far are:

"One can read the score from the left to the right or jump from graphical element to graphical element in an order of your choice. (for example from blue lines to thin black lines to increasingly thicker black lines with yellow occasionally in between, etc.) The musicians intuition is an important element in determining the order and choice of instruments/sounds.

I would be grateful if you could record and share one (or some) takes and write down how you came to the result. I am also very interested in hearing your comments on how it is to play to this score so I can take it into consideration when making the next graphical scores."

If anyone else wants to have a go drop me a line and I will email you a larger version of the score.


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Talk at Durham University

November 14th at 4:33pm

At last.... I am ready for the first blog on this site. The residency has started, the website has gone live and the first public event took place this past Tuesday when I gave a talk on previous work influenced by music and work currently in development at the Durham University Music Department. This led to an interesting discussion at the end on whether computers can really detect emotion, whether the machine learning is different in the case of one instrument or several and whether music is abstract or not. Thanks to all who attended and joined the discussion and to Durham University for hosting the event.

Now don't forget to take the research survey on this site please. Your opinion on the emotional expression of abstract graphics will directly influence the public performances planned for February and March 2015. Simply click te participate button on the right. It will take you about ten minutes and is fully anonymous. file

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Follow updates from Affect Formations

November 7th at 2:38pm

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