Category Archives: Research

Jimmy Raps in Morelia

Jimmy Raps (presented at the International Conference on Live Coding in Morelia [Mexico] in December, 2017) is a text ‘rap’ and audio-visual composition; by rap, I mean the live writer composes verses and launches musical rhythms, revealing an unspoken word rap of English slang that listeners may find humorous and nonsensical – a metaphor for the central figure whose sampled voice features strongly throughout the piece. Gestures (instrumental, typographical, spatial, epistemic, ancillary, etc.) are given tangible form through the use of the MYO biosignal interface and the browser-based textual performance and visualisation interface known as Live Writing (Lee, 2015). The MYO is a biosignal (electromyography) armband featuring inertial measurement sensing (3DoF accelerometer; 3DoF gyroscope). Live writing is a web browser-based textual performance and visualisation interface directly inspired by the fields of live and creative coding in computer music. The underlying code of live writing includes JavaScript, Web Audio, WebGL and OpenGL Shading Language. It features dynamic and animated text rendering, allowing the performer to explore a potential for visual and musical expression through the creation of live poetry, live electroacoustic sound and temporal typography.

Live Writing created by Sang Won Lee

MYO developed by Thalmic Labs

Software support:

Samy Kamkar

Michele Abolaffio


Immortal-machine is my first solo work for the méta-instrument digital musical instrument. The instrument features forty-six discrete pressure-sensing ‘keys’ or touch points, thumb sliders, pivoting hand grips (measuring hand rotation) and elbow ‘ball and socket’ joints (measuring the horizontal and vertical movements of the forearms over an angle of ninety degrees) – fifty-four channels of continuous control data, in total. In composing and performing my composition, I am interested in investigating whether the concept of an ‘immortal machine’ is an appropriate analogy for the human body. Important aspects of Immortal-machine are, on the one hand, a contextualisation of the human body as a hyper-body (‘hyper’ referring to the tradition of the hyperinstrument or metainstrument) and, on the other hand, the drawing out of possible ‘superhuman’ capabilities and higher-level corporeal models through a reinterpretation of the human body in relation to its surrounding environment. My work with the méta-instrument is aimed at furthering my ideas on concurrence and counteraction in digital musical instrument composition.

“Thank you Darryl, for your help re-soldering and calibrating.”