Nick Sazenski


Using a Musicians Ancillary Gestures to Manipulate Automated Events Parameters within an Indeterministic Performance System


The project consists of an Indeterministic performance in which a motion capture system is used to track a guitarist’s ancillary gestures. These gestures are then used as additional musical input in the composition. The use of Indeterminacy allows a relationship between chance and choice to occur as the performance system is put into the role of a fellow performer. This interaction results in emergent behaviours between player and system. The focus of the project is to explore how a player responds to an Indeterministic system subtly and musically responds to the players bodily movements.

The thesis presents a performance system, which uses a musician's ancillary gestures as additional musical input into a performance whilst not compromising any control over their instrument or its environment. This is accomplished using motion capture technology. The motion capture data is sent as input into an indeterministic performance system built in Max a powerful audio processing software. A brief analysis of forms of gesture, its use in performance practices and instrumentation augmentation is presented. The contextualisation of Indeterministic music in relation to this project and some of the work of John Cage is presented with reference to the application of Indeterminacy and performance software systems. A detailed analysis of the prototyping phase leading to the final composition is put forward along with some aesthetic dimensions of the composition. The main objective of this thesis is to explore how a musician responds to an Indeterministic system subtly and musically responds to the players bodily movements. Demonstrating a symbiotic relationship between what we hear and how we move.

Nick Sazenski