Prashanth Thattai Ravikumar
Prashanth is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Communications and New Media, NUS. His interests revolve around the development of intelligent music technologies for creative collaboration with humans. His Ph.D. research focuses on addressing the issues of developing creative music technologies that transcend their use as creative support tools and are recognized computational partners in improvised musical collaboration. Outside of work, Prashanth is active improvising musician.
Looking beyond creative support: An experience of musical co-improvisation
Interactive music systems have several useful applications as creative support systems in live music performances. However, can they engender a feeling of co-improvising together? An experimental music system was developed to study the impact of musical decisions of the system on the musicians' experiences of co-creation. In a controlled study, musicians performed rhythmic duets with different versions of the system, and reported their experiences. The reports gathered from the different performances were analyzed to identify a combination of characteristics that musicians used to distinguish an experience of co-improvisation from that of creative support. Musicians reported a sense of co-improvising with the system when they felt less constrained during the interaction, played musical material that was influenced by the system, and felt a sense of mutually negotiating transitions. The results from the study expand our understanding of the characteristics that are important to a sense of co-improvising in live music performances.