Meetings and Thoughts
I had meetings with Youn (Lim) and Chris (Raphael) today. We discussed how to go about the “inductive” phase of my project. I realized I needed to make a decision on who exactly I’m going to focus on; professional or amateur electronic musicians. I think my focus is going to be on the latter, mainly because they are the only group that I think I can meet and observe. I also realized that I needed to focus on what part of the collaborative process that I’m going to focus on; collaborative composition, or collaborative performance. This decision is still up in the air. I am leaning more towards studying the composition side of collaboration, while I think Chris would be more interested in the performance side, and utilizing his experience in this area. I can see how the performance side would be more interesting from a music informatics perspective, but I feel that the composition side has richer ground for studying collaborations.
On a related idea, Youn and I also discussed the concept of “musical chat”. This wouldn’t be conventional chat about music, but a mixture of text/voice communications mixed with musical structure/composition/audio information. I noticed that when AOL introduced voice chat to its chat rooms, people immediately started using these rooms to play their own music live to a roomfull of online listeners. As of right now, there exists no two-way communication capability for audio in these chat rooms. This idea is very new and interesting to me, and I feel that it could end up being a valid concept for my project.
After my meeting with Chris, I decided not to follow a more instrument minded approach to defining my project. I feel that my lack of understanding in this area will become a huge problem. We discussed the concept of a “chat” based musical composition medium. After going over the problems and possibilities of such an application, we decided to call it a day. Low and behold, later on today I discovered an open source application called “Frogjam” which is basically a limited version of exactly the concept I had in mind. I am going to contact the developers of this software and determine if I can alter it without upsetting anybody.