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Soundscape is a New Digital Musical Instrument that allows the digital musician to manipulate and improvise music sources while allowing them to communicate expression through sound and visuals. The digital musicians manipulates the music by their gestures of pressing, swiping and poking four stretch fabric panels - these gestures loosely mimicked the actions the musicians used on the iPad.  Graphics, projected onto the back of the surface, are responsive to both touch interaction and the sounds that are the result of the interactions. Interactions allows the musician to change effects and vary the loops of the backing music and improvise new music over the background.  

How to engage with the design: Soundscape is best presented in a darker environment in the afternoon or at night time. It is a combination of the sounds and visuals that are best witnessed later in the day.  

About the Soundscape project

The project “Soundscape” is a joint project between ITEE and the University of Queensland Music Department. Soundscape is a new interface for music creation. Working with the iPad ensemble the team wanted to employ a participatory design process to develop a tactile interface that allowed them to extend their performance capabilities from the intimacy of the iPad to a larger screen. In doing so it transformed the minute gestures the group could do on the iPad to larger gestures that would express the nature of the music being played. This element became an integral part of the whole performance and presented a sense of liveness by engaging the audience with a visual representation of the motions the group use to play the music.  

Project Group

Trevor Hunter, Peter Worthy, Shiva Balachandran & the members of the UQ iPad ensemble.