<< International Symposium Writing Time and Interaction

First day


9:30am-10:15am Introduction

10:15am-11am The Origins of Human Musicality: Structures of Time and  Structures  of Interaction

The study of temporal structuring of human behavior and interaction is a fairly new domain in the field of cognitive music psychology. We will begin with the premise that repetition is fundamental to all music, and that its forms can be studied in all musical cultures. Repetition implies not only the opposition between what is repeated (immediately or remotely) and what is not. It also implies a variation, a repetition that is not identical to an identifiable model through embellishment or a development that makes a unit of the musical form at the same time as it progresses. Repetition is controlling time.

Any individual experience, interpersonal or interactive like any musical experience, is characterized by its temporal structure - its profile - on which are grafted sensory, physical and emotional experiences. A large proportion of our spontaneous social interactions are understood and interpreted directly in terms of affect, even before we classify their meaning in terms of linguistic, social or cultural codes. Researchers have made significant progress in this domain, defending the hypothesis that this interactive perception and comprehension is an innate human attribute, or in any case, a characteristic found in superior animal species that is particularly developed in man. This aptitude has been called "behavior musicality"; it is at the foundation of human socialization, like our acquired musical skills and our musical cultural standards.

11am-11:30am Break

11:30am-12:15pm De Temporum Fine Comœdia: Notation and Compositional Intent

This communication addresses the role of notation in the reconstrual of semantic contextuality in the context of a surparticularised work concept, and the fiction of the objective in the work-notation interface.

12:15pm-1pm The Logic of Time in Computer Music

The IRCAM Music Representations Team strives to make sophisticated tools for temporal structuring available to musicians for writing aids and for interaction. Several paradigms for performance have been explored with diverse uses in mind: metric and smooth time, score and  process-related time, chronology and temporal logic, multi-scale temporalities for either composed or improvised interaction. Situated between the categories of out of time and in time, so important to Xenakis, we suggest the category of logical time, the mark of formal systems in which time, although structured, remains in a potential state. These structures then specify the dynamic methods employed with different temporal materials used in writing or interaction.

Research carried out by the team will be presented from both a theoretical and a practical point of view through the OpenMusic environment, used as a base for experiments and as an operational tool for composers.


2:30pm-3:15pm Hierarchical Schematics Forms for Virtual Dramatic Performances

Schemata are cognitive models that have been proposed as a foundation for structuring and making sense of complex cognitive functions, including the comprehension of linear and interactive narratives. Schema theory can be taken further into account in the meaning of interactive dramatic performances at all scales of their time structure, from more atomic performance moves, through intermediate structures found in games and dramatic scripts, to the large scale time structure of complete narratives.

Languages developed within artificial intelligence can be used to represent the schemas involved in virtual performances, both as a foundation for understanding the nature of audience engagement and immersion in a performance, and as an implementational formalism for the realization of interactive dramatic narratives.

3:15pm-4pm Between Knowledge and Iteraction: Double Points: +

This conference aims at presenting some of the concepts developed for the production of the work Doublepoints+ through the following questions:

How to describe relations between recursively structured musical  processes and the formalized vocabulary of a dancer? May LISP's object oriented programming of complex musical units refer to a choreographical description of gestures? Which formalism is necessary to compare the structure, variation, relation and order of such "objects"?

How can these relations be actualized in realtime and interactively developed? OpenMCL provides complex data structures for object definition as well as native parallel threads for realtime calculation of parallel processes. Therefore it is now possible for the composer to interactively select predefined musical objects which are then triggered, modulated and structurally changed by the dancer.

What about the relation between interaction and score? All generated objects are integrated into the score's harmonical and rhythmical development. The tension between the openness of interaction and the fixation of the score is reflected in the relation between an open work in progress and a finished one.

4pm-4:45pm Writing a Conversation to be Shaped in the Future

Digital "interactive storytelling" is a new form of artistic expression, building a bridge between the traditional art and craft of telling stories and new paradigms of computer use and its focus on users’ actions dealing with a medium, particularly with a simulated world.

Several genres of interactive storytelling still have to be developed and distinguished, since the phenomenon can take various shapes. What all shapes have in common is the problem of distributing and sharing the agency within the storytelling among authors and participants. This includes for example, the control of timing at a micro-level, especially when conversation-like interfaces are involved, as well as the overall development of a plot.

While discussing examples of digital conversations with virtual agents based on chatbot technology, several questions are raised: How can artists control and "write" an emerging conversation, using scripts, rules and patterns? What are the creative conditions for successfully using a conversational metaphor in digital storytelling, involving issues of human-computer interaction and natural language processing? What structures can be provided at various levels of dramatic expression, or at microand macro-levels of timing?

The various combinations of "telling" and "letting play" also involve the formalization of human matters and social systems, in order to be performed as a computable simulation. In this context, "time" is also discussed as a crucial aspect for the distinction between stories of "why" and simulations of "what-if".

4:45pm-5:15pm Break

5:15pm-6:30pm Debate

Tuesday, June 13, 9:30am-6:30pm / IRCAM, Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles

  • Access Conditions: REGISTRATION
  • Price: full price 60€ / reduced price 30€
  • Simultaneous translation into French and English

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