Design Lab's Oliver Bown tours US West Coast

9 October 2012

Design Lab Lecturer Dr. Oliver Bown is today presenting his research at the first international workshop on Musical Metacreation.

Dr. Bown will chair a session on musical Autonomy. Speakers at the Stanford University conference will explore themes of context, interaction and theory.

Dr. Bown says he is excited to demonstrate the achievements of the Design Lab in this inaugural workshop.

"Researchers need to create systems that address a range of human interactions, from the encoding of musical knowledge that a composer wishes to embed in a system, to the interaction via audio that is required in live performance," Bown said.

"Although this may seem like an odd area to think of in terms of design, the design of behaviours and of creative control are challenges that have applications far beyond music."

This is the first international workshop on the processes behind musical creation and is part of the Eighth AAAI Conference on Intelligence and Interactive Digital Entertainment.

Dr. Bown will also be presenting to the San Francisco State University on October 10th, followed by a invited performance at the Centre for New Music and Audio Technologies at the University of California, Berkeley.

"My software (recently christened "Zamyatin") will be performing with Berkeley graduate student Ritwik Banerji on saxophone," Bown said. "I will be guiding the system and over short time-scales the system generates patterns of activity in response to the input coming from the saxophone.

"I don't think of these systems as virtual improvisors because they are a far cry from humans, but they do aspire to set up the same kind of dynamic musical environment as a fellow musician would."

These international presentations demonstrate the expertise of the Design Lab staff and the increasing fusion of digital, audio and interactive technologies.

You can learn more about Dr. Bown's research by reading his profile and by exploring the units he teaches; Sound Design and Sonification and the Human-Computer Experience Design Studio.