Oct 25, 2009

GDIF: Gesture Description Interchange Format, a tool for music-related movements, actions, and gestures.

There has been a flurry of work in the computer music technology world that relates to what has been going on with interactive display technology, multi-touch & gesture interaction. I came across a link to the GDIF website when I was searching for information about interactive music and the use of multi-touch technologies for a future blog post.   

So what is GDIF?  Gesture description interchange format

"The Gesture Description Interchange Format (GDIF) is being developed as a tool for streaming and storing data of music-related movements, actions, and gestures.  Current general purpose formats developped within the motion capture industry and biomechanical community (e.g. C3D) focus mainly on describing low-level motion of body joints.  We are more interested in describing gesture qualities, performer-instrument relationships, and movement-sound relationships in a coherent and consistent way.  A common format will simplify working with different software, platforms and devices, and allow for sharing data between institutions."  (The Jamoma environment is used to prototype GDIF.)

Alexander Refsum Jensenius is the man who initiated the GDIF project.  He's written a variety of articles about music, gestures, movement, and emerging technologies.  

Here's Alexander's bio"Alexander (BA, MA, MSc, PhD) is a music researcher and research musician working in the fields of embodied music cognition and new interfaces for musical expression (NIME) at the University of Oslo and at the Norwegian Academy of MusicHe studied informatics, mathematics, musicology, music performance and music technology at UiOChalmersUC Berkeley and McGill. Alexander is active in the international computer music community through a number of collaborative projects, and as the initiator of GDIFHe performs on keyboard instruments and live electronics in various constellations, including the Oslo Laptop Orchestra (OLO)."

Related Publications
Godoy, R. I., E. Haga, and A. R. Jensenius (2006b). Playing `air instruments':Mimicry of sound-producing gestures by novices and experts. InS. Gibet, N. Courty, and J.-F. Kamp (Eds.), Gesture in Human-Computer Interaction and Simulation, GW 2005, Volume LNAI 3881, pp. 256{267.Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
Jensenius, A. R (2009): Motion capture studies of action-sound couplings in sonic interaction. STSM COST Action SID report. fourMs lab, University of Oslo.
Jensenius, A. R. (2007). Action - Sound: Developing Methods and Tools to Study Music-related Body Movement. PhD thesis. Department of Musicology. University of Oslo, Norway
Jensenius, A. R., K. Nymoen and R. I. Godoy (2008): A Multilayered GDIF-Based Setup for Studying Coarticulation in the Movements of Musicians. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, 24-29 August 2008, Belfast.
Jensenius, A. R., T. Kvifte, and R. I. Godoy (2006). Towards a gesture description interchange format. In N. Schnell, F. Bevilacqua, M. Lyons, and A. Tanaka (Eds.), NIME '06: Proceedings of the 2006 International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Paris, pp. 176{179. Paris: IRCAM { Centre Pompidou.}
Kvifte, T. and A. R. Jensenius (2006). Towards a coherent terminology and model of instrument description and design. In N. Schnell, F. Bevilacqua, M. Lyons, and A. Tanaka (Eds.), Proceedings of New Interfaces for Musical Expression, NIME 06, IRCAM - Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, June 4-8, pp. 220–225. Paris: IRCAM - Centre Pompidou. [PDF]
Marshall,M. T., N. Peters, A. R. Jensenius, J. Boissinot, M. M. Wanderley, and J. Braasch (2006). On the development of a system for gesture control of spatialization. In Proceedings of the 2006 International Computer Music Conference, 6-11 November, New Orleans. [PDF]

"Sonic Interaction Design is the exploitation of sound as one of the principal channels conveying information, meaning, and aesthetic/emotional qualities in interactive contexts."
SID Action has four working groups:
WG1: Perceptual, cognitive, and emotional study of sonic interactions
WG2: Product sound design
WG3: Interactive art and music
WG4: Sonification

    "SoundHack was my main thing for a long time, and I poured a lot of effort into it. It was the place I put my ideas. I did have something of a mission with SoundHack. I wanted to take some computer music techniques that were only used in academia, and get them out there so that all types of musicians could use them."-Tom Erbe  SoundHack Spectral Shapers

Csound Blog "Old School Computer Music"
"Csound is a sound and music synthesis system, providing facilities for composition and performance over a wide range of platforms. It is not restricted to any style of music, having been used for many years in the creation of classical, pop, techno, ambient, experimental, and (of course) computer music, as well as music for film and television."-Csound on Sourceforge

Quote from Dr. Richard Boulanger (Father of CSound):
"For me, music is a medium through which the inner spiritual essence of all things is revealed and shared. Compositionally, I am interested in extending the voice of the traditional performer through technological means to produce a music which connects with the past, lives in the present and speaks to the future. Educationally, I am interested in helping students see technology as the most powerful instrument for the exploration, discovery, and realization of their essential musical nature - their inner voice."

Upcoming post about innovations at Stantum:
I'll be focusing on Stantum and its music and media technologies division, JazzMutant. in my next post. It is interesting to note that the co-founders of Stantum, Guilliam Largilleir and Pascal Joget, have a background in electronic music.  Guiliam specializes in multi-modal user interfaces and human-machine interface technologies. Pascal has a background in physics and electronics, and has worked as a sound engineer.

My music back-story:

The very first computer-related course I took was Computer Music Technology (in 2003), since I play an electronic midi/digital keyboard and previously tried to teach myself a few things, long before computers and related technologies were "easy" for me to figure out.  During the mid-90's, I tried my hand at Dr. Richard Boulanger' CSound, and tried to acquaint myself with tools from Cycling'74, but I gave up.  Not long after that, bought the first version of MOTU's  Freestyle, which nicely worked on my Performa 600, hooked up to my Ensoniq 32, after the nice people at MOTU sent me an update that was compatible with my set-up.  Later on,  I came across Tom Erbe's SoundHack freeware.   

A lot has changed since then! 

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