Conference paper Open Access

Identifying modes of interaction in dance-music collaborations

Moriaty, Manoli

This research project investigates the relationship between the mediums of sound and movement, in the context of interactive music performance, through a conceptual interpretation of symbiosis, a phenomenon describing the close and persistent interactions between organisms of different species. Mirroring the types of symbiosis that manifest in nature, sound-movement interactions are qualified three distinct modes, identified according to the collaborating practitioners’ intended outcomes, provisions, operation, and cognition of affect. In this paper, the symbiotic framework is used as means of designing the mappings for a live work, as well as an analytical tool towards understanding the dancer’s role as part of the music-making process. For the latter, six dancer-musician collaborations from the field of interactive dance are analysed, with the accounts provided by their authors revealing the emergence of multiple modes in each work, as well as examples of mutation between different modes over the course of a performance. It should be noted that the limited availability of case studies with sufficient information for this analysis highlights the need for further insight of the collaborative process within literature focusing on HCI-mediated composition, particularly accounts of how technological tools are utilised, understood, and appropriated within our collaborators’ dance practices. The symbiotic framework offers this opportunity by abridging complex concepts into prompts using nomenclature that is shared between the disciplines of music and dance, thus presenting a more efficient and inclusive approach in communicating the potential and limitations presented by HCI tools to non-specialist users.

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