Exciting Instrumental Data: Toward an Expanded Action-Oriented Ontology for Digital Music Performance
McLeod, Ian Charles
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Musical performance using digital musical instruments has obfuscated the relationship between observable musical gestures and the resultant sound. This is due to the sound producing mechanisms of digital musical instruments being hidden within the digital music making system. The difficulty in observing embodied artistic expression is especially true for musical instruments that are comprised of digital components only. Despite this characteristic of digital music performance practice, this thesis argues that it is possible to bring digital musical performance further within our action-oriented ontology by understanding the digital musician through the lens of Lévi-Strauss’ notion of the bricoleur. Furthermore, by examining musical gestures with these instruments through a multi-tiered analytical framework that accounts for the physical computing elements necessarily present in all digital music making systems, we can further understand and appreciate the intricacies of digital music performance practice and culture.