II Design Make Create

Movement Meets Material—An Improvisational Approach to Design

Johanna Schindler and Amelie Hinrichsen

Abstract How can we integrate an embodied musician-instrument relation to musical instrument design? To answer this question, we have proposed a design process where musical instrument prototypes are developed taking a specific improvisation practice from contemporary dance. Over the course of four improvisation sessions, we invited an acoustic musician, an experimental electronic musician and a contemporary dancer to develop a solo performance with given material. Their improvisations inspired the design of three instrument mock-ups, which integrated movement, material and sound. After four subsequent improvisation sessions the process resulted in two refined instrument prototypes. Using improvisation as a performance setting, our developmental process revealed that for live set-ups the instrument benefits from a reliable system, which allows the musician to perform in a spontaneous and flexible manner. To further engage the musician with the instrument, the sound synthesis process should reflect genuine material sound qualities of the object. Emphasizing its identity as an instrument, we refer to this as material authenticity, a notion, which raises questions on the relationship between material, digitality and sound.

J. Schindler (H)

Zeppelin University, Am Seemoser Horn 20, 88045 Friedrichshafen, Germany e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

A. Hinrichsen

University of the Arts Berlin, Grunewaldstrasse 2-5, 10823 Berlin, Germany e-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

T. Bovermann et al. (eds.), Musical Instruments in the 21st Century, DOI 10.1007/978-981-10-2951-6_8

 
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