Asha Blatherwick attended the NIME 2015 Conference in Louisiana USA. Here she tells us of the highlights.
NIME – Baton Rouge 2015!
I had the pleasure of attending the NIME(New Interfaces for musical expression) 2015 conference at Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge from May 31st to 3rd June.
The handbook of the event describes it as “equal parts academic research, composition, technological discovery, performance art, interaction design, demonstration, theoretical discourse, art exhibition, and music.” With a focus on understanding music and our interaction with it; the way in which ‘music can touch us as a listener and we can touch music as performers’. It was a very diverse and friendly conference ranging from playful interfaces to hard-core science-based musical systems.
The trip was an action-packed one that began on Saturday with the affiliated Red Stick Festival in Baton Rouge; a maker fair full of sound tech. Sunday featured workshops and primers for the newbies like me, Monday to Wednesday was the meat of the conference with all the paper presentation, demos, posters, and performances. Thursday was an informal trip to New Orleans that gave me the chance to see some of the cultures of the South.
The conference days were a chock full 9am-11pm event with papers presented throughout the day, posters and demonstrations over a long lunch, plus two concerts each evening, an early and late concert. There were also several sound installations spread across all the venues featured in the conference. There were many many great things to be seen with all the papers and video submissions available on this years website. The videos of all the performances from the conference will be available online at a later date.
The keynotes for this event were Luke Dubois and Sile O’Modhrain. Both keynotes were excellent, Dubois discussed managing big data for artistic pursuit with a frenetic presentation that sped through his life and art thus far. O’Modhrain keynote looked at the human-computer interaction in music asking the question not only how does the computer see us as a performer but also what if our instrument could feel us? She explored perception and action and their coupling to explore how touch can play a crucial role in guiding perception of sonic interaction.
The main NIME website has the proceedings of all of the NIME conferences to date. I highly recommend using these resources to see some of the new approaches to collecting data from humans, forming new types of interaction and using computers to help us make music in ways never before seen or heard.