Mixed Reality Laboratory
  • Print

Paul Stapleton (Professor of Music, Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast)

Mixed Reality Lab Meeting Space
Friday 17th January 2020 (12:00-13:00)

Paul Stapleton, Professor of Music, Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen's University Belfast, will give a guest talk to the lab.

Musicians Are Not Users: researching performance ecosystems through design and improvisation

My talk with begin with a brief introduction to the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) in Belfast where I am currently employed, followed by short overview of my background as an improviser, sound designer and musical instrument inventor. I will then discuss my currently thinking on how to go about researching the relationship between musicians and their instruments, with a particular focus on performance ecosystems, distributed agency and co-tuning as a way to contextualise my claim that musicians are not users. Music is not a task, like sending a text on your phone or driving from a to b. Creative musicians are perhaps better described as expert abusers of instruments and repertoire, or explorers of the edges and breaking points of both musical materials and cultures. I will conclude the talk by playing and discussing documentation from a selection of my recent and current instrument design projects.

About Paul

Paul Stapleton (California-born, Belfast-based) is Professor of Music at the Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), Queen’s University Belfast, working primarily in the areas of new musical instrument design, music performance, sound design, and critical improvisation studies. He designs and performs with a variety of modular metallic sound sculptures and custom-made electronics in locations ranging from Echtzeitmusik venues in Berlin to the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME), and has received critical acclaim for his sound design and composition work as part of the immersive audio-theatre piece Reassembled, Slightly Askew. Paul has (co-)directed several Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK) and European Commission funded interdisciplinary research projects on topics ranging from the relationship between music improvisation and law, to the development of new methods for studying social interaction in music performance. Paul's website is www.paulstapleton.net.

Mixed Reality Laboratory

University of Nottingham
School of Computer Science
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6780
email: mrl@cs.nott.ac.uk