gCON 2019

Looking beyond creative support: An experience of musical co-improvisation
2019-08-23, 15:15–15:30, Central Library Theatrette 1

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.