Analysing the design process of an interactive music installation in the urban space
Proceedings of the ICMPC – ESCOM 2012 joint conference (12th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition - 8th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music. Symposium on Cognition in Musical Composition: methodologies, results, challenges. 23-28 July, Thessaloniki, Greece
This study is part of a project that aims at documenting several examples of 20th and 21st century professional composers’ practices in order to contribute to the understanding of music creative processes. This 2 year study, conducted in collaboration with the composer Jean-Luc Hervé, examined the design process of an electro-acoustic music installation (a ‘sound garden’) located in a public park in central Paris. The installation is a collaboration between the composer and a landscape architects agency. Various different types of data were collected such as: traces of the composer’s activity (notes, sketches, sound samples, and e-mails with other project participants); verbal reports and comments based on the composer’s sketchbooks; and notes from the direct observation of electro-acoustic work session. Interviews with the composer were videotaped and transcribed (15 sessions, totalling more than 25 hours). The aim of this paper is to briefly present some preliminary results of the study concerning: the instrumental role played by the administrative, political, musical and technical constraints that the composer faced throughout the project; composition as a model-based activity, versus activity as a dynamically situated activity; the distribution of control between the composer and the computer system.