Strange Native

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Heart 2 Heart

Oct 19, 2010

Thesis… I think you and I should talk. I know you’ve been feeling stressed out. I mean, gosh, so have I! But that doesn’t excuse the way we’ve been ignoring each other. Sure, we’ve been side by side almost every day for the past month, but doesn’t it feel a bit like we’ve been “going through the motions?” You babble on all day about god-knows-what and I’m just sitting there, nodding, grunting “Mmm hmm” every so often. Sometimes I’ll tell people about you, how we met, but the story just feels stale. You and I both know we’re not really listening to one another anymore.

This has to stop. I care too much about you.

We’re in a rut. I just want to remember why we’re together, you know? I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, and I think we need to take this thing to the next level. When I look at you I see a beautiful, smart, fun project that could change the way people create music with computers, but I’ve focused so much on appearances that I’ve forgotten why I fell in love with you in the first place. So I wanted to count the ways. Here they are:

  • So many would-be musicians stop short of learning an instrument well enough to become truly expressive at it. They just give up. What frustration! What despair! You, my thesis project, have the potential to provide them with an alternate outlet for expressing themselves musically through gesture!
  • There are a lot of interfaces on the market that are great for sequencing computer music. Your friends Tenori-On, Monome, and iPad variants are so great for that, but ultimately they’re not performative. They just mechanically play back what you tell them to. You have the opportunity to build on their new approaches to interface while adding that emotive, performative quality of gesture.
  • Keyboards are one of the few expressive, widely available, computer music interfaces. But what good does that do you if you could never master the piano in the first place? What if you’re not classically trained? You have little else to turn to. You, my thesis, could be the alternative! You could be the frustrated musician’s inspiration!
  • By taking for granted the things multi-touch gesture and screen interfaces are great for, you make the point of entry for less-experienced music makers much easier. But there are things that spacial gestural interfaces are better for, and when you add that on top of those simple but rigid screen interfaces, you make expressing the meaning behind a musical sequence so much easier for those who never mastered an acoustic instrument.

So I hope you see what you mean to me. Why I think we’re together. I just had to get it all out there before I missed my chance. I hope you feel the same way. So whad’ya say? Wanna take this to the next level?


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