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Exploring the design space: Prototyping "The Throat V3"for the elephant man opera
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2659-0411
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID. KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Music Acoustics. (Sound and Music Computing)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4259-484X
University College of Opera, France .ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2142-9493
2011 (English)In: Proceedings of the 8th Sound and Music Computing Conference, SMC 2011, Padova, Italy: Padova University Press , 2011, 141-147 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Developing new technology for artistic practice requires other methods than classical problem solving. Some of the challenges involved in the development of new musical instruments have affinities to the realm of wicked problems. Wicked problems are hard to define and have many different solutions that are good or bad (not true or false). The body of possible solutions to a wicked problem can be called a design space and exploring that space must be the objective of a design process.In this paper we present effective methods of iterative design and participatory design that we have used in a project developed in collaboration between the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) and the University College of Opera, both in Stockholm. The methods are outlined, and examples are given of how they have been applied in specific situations.The focus lies on prototyping and evaluation with user participation. By creating and acting out scenarios with the user, and thus asking the questions through a prototype and receiving the answers through practice and exploration, we removed the bottleneck represented by language and allowed communication beyond verbalizing. Doing this, even so-called tacit knowledge could be activated and brought into the development process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Padova, Italy: Padova University Press , 2011. 141-147 p.
Keyword [en]
Iterative methods, Classical problems, Development process, Iterative design, Participatory design, Royal Institute of Technology, Tacit knowledge, User participation, Wicked problems
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-52201ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84905189824ISBN: 9788897385035OAI: diva2:465499
8th Sound and Music Computing Conference, SMC 2011, Padova, Italy, 6 July 2011 through 9 July 2011

QC 20120105. QC 20160115

Available from: 2011-12-14 Created: 2011-12-14 Last updated: 2016-01-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Extending Opera - Artist-led Explorations in Operatic Practice through Interactivity and Electronics
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Extending Opera - Artist-led Explorations in Operatic Practice through Interactivity and Electronics
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

How can we re-empower opera singers, extending their control over accompaniment and vocal expressivity? To answer this question, I have opened a novel design space, Extending Opera, consisting of interactive artist–operated tools to be used on-stage. The research has its methodological groundings in Research through Design (RtD) and Research through the Arts (RttA). This particular method is coined "research-throughthe- art-form-opera" – as I have worked within the realms and traditions of opera, probing its boundaries by designing, researching and creating through its own artistic toolbox.

Originally conceived for personal use, the artifacts were later used by other singers and incorporated in performances of opera in small and large scale. By composing and designing for the requirements in operatic productions, high demands on robustness were explored in and through custom-built interfaces.

The work resulted in ten novel artifacts and performances exploring the expressivity of these tools. Extending Opera is guided by and probed through three questions:

1. How can the design and creation of interactive, artist-operated instruments be informed by deep musical knowledge and be probed by the particular conditions surrounding an operatic production?

2. What impact can interactive, artist-operated instruments have on the opera singers themselves and on their vocal technique?

3. How can interactive, artist-operated instruments empower opera singers, thus challenging contemporary power hierarchies – thereby reconnecting to the explorative practice in opera's early days?

My knowledge contribution has surfaced through artistic practice and consists of the exemplars and the artworks, as well as three abstractions – one procedure, one requirement and one experiential quality.

Sensory Digital Intonation highlights how the fine-tuning of technologies and real-time interactivity is incorporated in a feed-back loop with artistic concerns and creativity.

Performative Stamina ("The Premiere-Factor") highlights how the traditional procedures leading up to a premiere in opera influence the demands on robustness and reliability within the components and the overall design of the novel artifacts.

Vocal Embodiment is an experiential quality that describes how the interactive artifacts change the singing itself.

In the conclusion, Artistic Re–Empowerment is discussed, proposing that power structures in opera have been probed through the use of the novel artist-operated interactive instruments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. 136 p.
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2014:19
National Category
Media and Communication Technology
Research subject
Media Technology
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-159001 (URN)978-91-7595-401-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-01-29, F2, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:15 (English)

QC 20150119

Available from: 2015-01-19 Created: 2015-01-19 Last updated: 2015-01-20Bibliographically approved

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Elblaus, LudvigHansen, Kjetil FalkenbergUnander-Scharin, Carl
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