Scholarly Works, School of Performing Arts

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  • Interactive stories through robot musical theater for preschoolers’ STEAM education
    Choi, Koeun; Yu, Shuqi; Kim, Jisun; Dong, Jia; Lee, Yeaji; Haines, Chelsea; Newbill, Phyllis; Upthegrove, Tanner; Wyatt, Ariana; Jeon, Myonghoon (2022)
  • Music education on YouTube and the challenges of platformization
    O'Leary, Emmett (The MayDay Group, 2023-11-29)
    In this paper, I critically examine platformized music education on YouTube. I suggest YouTube’s platform mechanisms influence music teaching and learning on the platform. The influence is present throughout the production, distribution, and monetization structures that YouTube-based music educators experience. I discuss how creators make videos with broad autonomy over what they produce but with a need to conform to platform affordances and to foment interaction with their content due to platform mechanisms such as datafication and commodification. Distribution is crucial to their work, yet YouTube’s algorithm and governance structures operate in powerful and opaque ways forcing music educators to navigate platform influences on their livelihoods and teaching. Finally, as creators earn money through their work, they encounter monetization structures and programs heavily entrenched in YouTube’s business model and have little agency or voice in shaping these structures and programs.
  • A Continuum of Library Publishing in Music: First-time Musical Score Publishing to Establishing a Music Label
    Walz, Anita R.; Grey, Kindred; Shapiro, Derek; Caldwell, Jonathan; DeLaurenti, Kathleen (Virginia Tech, 2023-05-08)
    This panel discussion features two library publishing projects, one a Creative-Commons licensed and first-time musical-score supplement publishing project intended to “expand the canon” of études available for conducting courses. The other an in-copyright music label with distribution of original in-copyright works via major streaming platforms. Panelists from three universities representing these two projects will describe project goals, disciplinary, technical, and project design issues, decision points, and perceptions regarding their respective projects. The panel will conclude with a discussion of gaps and aspirations for future involvement in music publishing. This session will be of interest to beginning music publishers as well as library publishers already involved in music publishing. Featured projects Original Études for the Developing Conductor Peabody Premieres A recording of this presentation is available at:
  • Echofluid: An Interface for Remote Choreography Learning and Co-creation Using Machine Learning Techniques
    Wang, Marx; Duer, Zachary; Hardwig, Scotty; Lally, Sam; Ricard, Alayna; Jeon, Myounghoon (ACM, 2022-10-29)
    Born from physical activities, dance carries beyond mere body movement. Choreographers interact with audiences’ perceptions through the kinaesthetics, creativity, and expressivity of whole-body performance, inviting them to construct experience, emotion, culture, and meaning together. Computational choreography support can bring endless possibilities into this one of the most experiential and creative artistic forms. While various interactive and motion technologies have been developed and adopted to support creative choreographic processes, little work has been done in exploring incorporating machine learning in a choreographic system, and few remote dance teaching systems in particular have been suggested. In this exploratory work, we proposed Echofuid-a novel AI-based choreographic learning and support system that allows student dancers to compose their own AI models for learning, evaluation, exploration, and creation. In this poster, we present the design, development and ongoing validation process of Echofluid, and discuss the possibilities of applying machine learning in collaborative art and dance as well as the opportunities of augmenting interactive experiences between the performers and audiences with emerging technologies.
  • Acutely enhancing affective state and social connection following an online dance intervention during the COVID-19 social isolation crisis
    Humphries, Ashlee; Tasnim, Noor; Rugh, Rachel; Patrick, Morgan; Basso, Julia C. (2023-01-16)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many throughout the world to isolate themselves from their respective communities to stop the spread of disease. Although this form of distancing can prevent the contraction of a virus, it results in social isolation and physical inactivity. Consequently, our communities have become heavily reliant on digital solutions to foster social connection and increase physical activity when forced to isolate. Dance is a multidimensional form of physical activity that includes sensory, motor, cognitive, rhythmic, creative, and social elements. Long-term, interventional studies in dance have shown positive effects on both mental and social health; however, little has been done to examine the acute effects and no studies to date have explored the relationship between the affective state and social outcomes of dance. We examined the hypothesis that online dance is associated with improvements in affective state and social connection during a time of social isolation, namely, the COVID-19 crisis. Healthy adults (age ≥ 18; n = 47) engaged in a single session of 60 min of self-selected online dance, completing a series of validated self-reported questionnaires before and after class. We found that online dance was associated with improvements in affective state as measured by increased positive affect and self-esteem and decreased negative affect and depressive symptoms. Additionally, online dance was associated with improvements in social and community connectedness. Further, we found that those who experienced the largest increases in self-esteem and decreases in negative affect demonstrated the largest gains in social connectivity. Although in-person dance classes may be optimal for formalized dance training, online dance instruction offers an accessible platform that can provide mental and social health benefits during the COVID-19 social isolation crisis. We conclude that through online dance, individuals can experience a connection between the body, mind, and community.
  • Healing minds, moving bodies: measuring the mental health effects of online dance during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Rugh, Rachel; Humphries, Ashlee; Tasnim, Noor; Basso, Julia C. (Routledge, 2022-06)
    Use of breath, close physical proximity, and tactile cues are some of the unique facets of dance training. In March of 2020, as COVID-19 lockdowns occurred, these aspects were removed from the lexicon of dance educators as virtual learning took the place of in-person training. This data-driven project explores the benefits and challenges of virtual dance, examining whether online dance can acutely improve mental health and enhance social connectivity. We explore our findings from an education perspective, focusing on learning style, class experience, and dance history. Our findings suggest that online dance can improve mood and increase community connectedness in healthy adults. Importantly, we found that an individual's trait learning style can influence the effectiveness of online learning, with tactile learners benefitting the most in terms of mood state and visual learners benefitting the most in terms of social connectivity. Additionally, we found that greater levels of experienced enjoyment provided the greatest benefits to mood state, whereas greater levels of perceived difficulty may have detrimental effects. We suggest best practices for online dance learning, provide future areas of research, and highlight the importance of using online learning to increase dance accessibility to diverse populations.
  • OPERAcraft: Blurring the Lines between Real and Virtual
    Bukvic, Ivica Ico; Cahoon, Cody; Wyatt, Ariana; Cowden, Tracy; Dredger, Katie (University of Michigan, 2014-09)
    In the following paper we present an innovative approach to coupling gaming, telematics, machinima, and opera to produce a hybrid performance art form and an arts+technology education platform. To achieve this, we leverage a custom Minecraft video game and sandbox mod and pd-l2ork real-time digital signal processing environment. The result is a malleable telematic-ready platform capable of supporting a broad array of artistic forms beyond its original intent, including theatre, cinema, as well as machinima and other experimental genres.
  • L2OrkMote: Reimagining a Low-Cost Wearable Controller for a Live Gesture-Centric Music Performance
    Tsoukalas, Kyriakos D.; Kubalak, Joseph R.; Bukvic, Ivica Ico (ACM, 2018-06)
    Laptop orchestras create music, although digitally produced, in a collaborative live performance not unlike a traditional orchestra. The recent increase in interest and investment in this style of music creation has paved the way for novel methods for musicians to create and interact with music. To this end, a number of nontraditional instruments have been constructed that enable musicians to control sound production beyond pitch and volume, integrating filtering, musical effects, etc. Wii Remotes (WiiMotes) have seen heavy use in maker communities, including laptop orchestras, for their robust sensor array and low cost. The placement of sensors and the form factor of the device itself are suited for video games, not necessarily live music creation. In this paper, the authors present a new controller design, based on the WiiMote hardware platform, to address usability in gesture-centric music performance. Based on the pilot-study data, the new controller offers unrestricted two-hand gesture production, smaller footprint, and lower muscle strain.
  • 3D Time-Based Aural Data Representation Using D⁴ Library’s Layer Based Amplitude Panning Algorithm
    Bukvic, Ivica Ico (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2016-07)
    The following paper introduces a new Layer Based Amplitude Panning algorithm and supporting D⁴ library of rapid prototyping tools for the 3D time-based data representation using sound. The algorithm is designed to scale and support a broad array of configurations, with particular focus on High Density Loudspeaker Arrays (HDLAs). The supporting rapid prototyping tools are designed to leverage oculocentric strategies to importing, editing, and rendering data, offering an array of innovative approaches to spatial data editing and representation through the use of sound in HDLA scenarios. The ensuing D⁴ ecosystem aims to address the shortcomings of existing approaches to spatial aural representation of data, offers unique opportunities for furthering research in the spatial data audification and sonification, as well as transportable and scalable spatial media creation and production.
  • Cinemacraft: Immersive Live Machinima as an Empathetic Musical Storytelling Platform
    Narayanan, Siddhart; Bukvic, Ivica Ico (University of Michigan, 2016)
    In the following paper we present Cinemacraft, a technology-mediated immersive machinima platform for collaborative performance and musical human-computer interaction. To achieve this, Cinemacraft innovates upon a reverse-engineered version of Minecraft, offering a unique collection of live machinima production tools and a newly introduced Kinect HD module that allows for embodied interaction, including posture, arm movement, facial expressions, and a lip syncing based on captured voice input. The result is a malleable and accessible sensory fusion platform capable of delivering compelling live immersive and empathetic musical storytelling that through the use of low fidelity avatars also successfully sidesteps the uncanny valley.
  • NIMEhub: Toward a Repository for Sharing and Archiving Instrument Designs
    McPherson, Andrew P.; Berdahl, Edgar; Lyons, Michael J.; Jensensius, Alexander Refsum; Bukvic, Ivica Ico; Knudson, Arve (ACM, 2016-07)
    This workshop will explore the potential creation of a community database of digital musical instrument (DMI) designs. In other research communities, reproducible research practices are common, including open-source software, open datasets, established evaluation methods and community standards for research practice. NIME could benefit from similar practices, both to share ideas amongst geographically distant researchers and to maintain instrument designs after their first performances. However, the needs of NIME are different from other communities on account of NIME's reliance on custom hardware designs and the interdependence of technology and arts practice. This half-day workshop will promote a community discussion of the potential benefits and challenges of a DMI repository and plan concrete steps toward its implementation.
  • Introducing a K-12 Mechatronic NIME Kit
    Tsoukalas, Kyriakos D.; Bukvic, Ivica Ico (ACM, 2018-06)
    The following paper introduces a new mechatronic NIME kit that uses new additions to the Pd-L2Ork visual programing environment and its K-12 learning module. It is designed to facilitate the creation of simple mechatronics systems for physical sound production in K- 12 and production scenarios. The new set of objects builds on the existing support for the Raspberry Pi platform to also include the use of electric actuators via the microcomputer’s GPIO system. Moreover, we discuss implications of the newly introduced kit in the creative and K-12 education scenarios by sharing observations from a series of pilot workshops, with particular focus on using mechatronic NIMEs as a catalyst for the development of programing skills.
  • Introducing D⁴: An Interactive 3D Audio Rapid Prototyping and Transportable Rendering Environment Using High Density Loudspeaker Arrays
    Bukvic, Ivica Ico (University of Michigan, 2016)
    With a growing number of multimedia venues and research spaces equipped with High Density Loudspeaker Arrays, there is a need for an integrative 3D audio spatialization system that offers both a scalable spatialization algorithm and a battery of supporting rapid prototyping tools for time-based editing, rendering, and interactive low-latency manipulation. D⁴ library aims to assist this newfound whitespace by introducing a Layer Based Amplitude Panning algorithm and a collection of rapid prototyping tools for the 3D time-based audio spatialization and data sonification. The ensuing ecosystem is designed to be transportable and scalable. It supports a broad array of configurations, from monophonic to as many as hardware can handle. D⁴’s rapid prototyping tools leverage oculocentric strategies to importing and spatially rendering multidimensional data and offer an array of new approaches to time-based spatial parameter manipulation and representation. The following paper presents unique affordances of D⁴’s rapid prototyping tools.
  • Introducing Locus: a NIME for Immersive Exocentric Aural Environments
    Sardana, Disha; Joo, Woohun; Bukvic, Ivica Ico; Earle, Gregory D. (ACM, 2019-06)
    Locus is a NIME designed specifically for an interactive, immersive high density loudspeaker array environment. The system is based on a pointing mechanism to interact with a sound scene comprising 128 speakers. Users can point anywhere to interact with the system, and the spatial interaction utilizes motion capture, so it does not require a screen. Instead it is completely controlled via hand gestures using a glove that is populated with motion-tracking markers. The main purpose of this system is to offer intuitive physical interaction with the perimeter-based spatial sound sources. Further, its goal is to minimize user-worn technology and thereby enhance freedom of motion by utilizing environmental sensing devices, such as motion capture cameras or infrared sensors. The ensuing creativity enabling technology is applicable to a broad array of possible scenarios, from researching limits of human spatial hearing perception to facilitating learning and artistic performances, including dance. Below we describe our NIME design and implementation, its preliminary assessment, and offer a Unity-based toolkit to facilitate its broader deployment and adoption.
  • Aegis Audio Engine: Integrating a Real-Time Analog Signal Processing, Pattern Recognition, and a Procedural Soundtrack in a Live Twelve-Perfomer Spectacle With Crowd Participation
    Bukvic, Ivica Ico; Matthews, Michael (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2015-07)
    In the following paper we present Aegis: a procedural networked soundtrack engine driven by real-time analog signal analysis and pattern recognition. Aegis was originally conceived as part of Drummer Game, a game-performancespectacle hybrid research project focusing on the depiction of a battle portrayed using terracotta soldiers. In it, each of the twelve cohorts—divided into two armies of six—are led by a drummer-performer who issues commands by accurately drumming precomposed rhythmic patterns on an original Chinese war drum. The ensuing spectacle is envisioned to also accommodate large audience participation whose input determines the morale of the two armies. An analog signal analyzer utilizes efficient pattern recognition to decipher the desired action and feed it both into the game and the soundtrack engine. The soundtrack engine then uses this action, as well as messages from the gaming simulation, to determine the most appropriate soundtrack parameters while ensuring minimal repetition and seamless transitions between various clips that account for tempo, meter, and key changes. The ensuing simulation offers a comprehensive system for pattern-driven input, holistic situation assessment, and a soundtrack engine that aims to generate a seamless musical experience without having to resort to cross-fades and other simplistic transitions that tend to disrupt a soundtrack’s continuity.
  • New Interfaces for Spatial Musical Expression
    Bukvic, Ivica Ico; Sardana, Disha; Joo, Woohun (ACM, 2020-07)
    With the proliferation of venues equipped with the high den- sity loudspeaker arrays there is a growing interest in developing new interfaces for spatial musical expression (NISME). Of particular interest are interfaces that focus on the emancipation of the spatial domain as the primary dimension for musical expression. Here we present Monet NISME that leverages multitouch pressure-sensitive surface and the D⁴ library’s spatial mask and thereby allows for a unique approach to interactive spatialization. Further, we present a study with 22 participants designed to assess its usefulness and compare it to the Locus, a NISME introduced in 2019 as part of a localization study which is built on the same design principles of using natural gestural interaction with the spatial content. Lastly, we briefly discuss the utilization of both NISMEs in two artistic performances and propose a set of guidelines for further exploration in the NISME domain.
  • Devising Commedia as an Antiracist Theatre Practice in The Artful Token
    Rosin, Jordan (2021-08-07)
    This presentation will recount some of Jordan Rosin's key insights from producing and directing an ensemble-devised Contemporary Commedia adaptation of Goldoni's The Artful Widow with undergraduate students at Virginia Tech, employing a process which combined The Ume Group's Devising Methodology, Liz Lerman's Critical Response Process, Theatrical Intimacy Education-inspired boundary practices, and Nicole Brewer's Antiracist Theatre principles. Major insights revolve around opportunities and limitations of Commedia as an antiracist/anti-oppressive practice, as well as the synergies between consent, harm prevention, Liz Lerman's CRP, Emergent Strategy, and the roles of actor-creator and director-as-facilitator.
  • Enacting Lecoq: Movement in Theatre, Cognition, and Life (Book review)
    Rosin, Jordan (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2021-03-26)
  • Dance on the Brain: Enhancing Intra and Inter-Brain Synchrony
    Basso, Julia C.; Satyal, Medha K.; Rugh, Rachel (Frontiers, 2021-01-07)
    Dance has traditionally been viewed from a Eurocentric perspective as a mode of self-expression that involves the human body moving through space, performed for the purposes of art, and viewed by an audience. In this Hypothesis and Theory article, we synthesize findings from anthropology, sociology, psychology, dance pedagogy, and neuroscience to propose The Synchronicity Hypothesis of Dance, which states that humans dance to enhance both intra- and inter-brain synchrony. We outline a neurocentric definition of dance, which suggests that dance involves neurobehavioral processes in seven distinct areas including sensory, motor, cognitive, social, emotional, rhythmic, and creative. We explore The Synchronicity Hypothesis of Dance through several avenues. First, we examine evolutionary theories of dance, which suggest that dance drives interpersonal coordination. Second, we examine fundamental movement patterns, which emerge throughout development and are omnipresent across cultures of the world. Third, we examine how each of the seven neurobehaviors increases intraand inter-brain synchrony. Fourth, we examine the neuroimaging literature on dance to identify the brain regions most involved in and affected by dance. The findings presented here support our hypothesis that we engage in dance for the purpose of intrinsic reward, which as a result of dance-induced increases in neural synchrony, leads to enhanced interpersonal coordination. This hypothesis suggests that dance may be helpful to repattern oscillatory activity, leading to clinical improvements in autism spectrum disorder and other disorders with oscillatory activity impairments. Finally, we offer suggestions for future directions and discuss the idea that our consciousness can be redefined not just as an individual process but as a shared experience that we can positively influence by dancing together.
  • From Kerry to Chiconcuac: Marie Jones’s Stones in His Pockets and Sabina Berman’s eXtras
    Bixler, Jacqueline E. (2020-05)
    This article focuses on the Mexican play, eXtras, Sabina Berman's translation and adaptation of the Irish hit play Stones in His Pockets by Marie Jones. Linda Hutcheon, Thomas Leitch, and other contributors to adaptation studies shed light on the process used by Berman to tradapt and glocalize Stones in His Pockets for the Mexican stage, where the combined forces of Hollywood and globalization have likewise ravaged the local economy and where Jones's tragicomic story of exploitation and anonymization played every bit as well as it did in Ireland.