Research seminars

Tom Mudd: Improvisers, instruments and nonlinear dynamics

Event details

Speaker: Tom Mudd  (University of Edinburgh)

Date: 28 March 2019

Time: 5.15 - 6.15pm.  

Venue: Lecture Room A, Alison House, 12 Nicolson Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9DF



This talk will explore musical instruments—and interactions with musical instruments—from a dynamical systems perspective. Nonlinear dynamical processes are fundamental in the everyday physical world. They lie at the core of many acoustic instruments, playing a particularly significant role in bowed and blown instruments. How do these processes manifest themselves in the actual playing of musical instruments? What can we learn from this about interaction, about musical practices,  and about the differences between acoustic and digital musical interactions?

The talk will focus on two studies from my PhD that approach these issues from different perspectives. The first was a set of comparative studies exploring the ways in which musicians engage with systems that do and do not incorporate nonlinear dynamical processes. The second—the main focus for this talk—involved interviewing 24 musicians engaged in free improvisation, investigating the role of nonlinear dynamical processes in their instrumental interactions in relation to unpredictability and creative exploration. 



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Mar 28 2019 -

Tom Mudd: Improvisers, instruments and nonlinear dynamics

Tom Mudd discusses the role nonlinear dynamic processes play in musical instruments and how we use them, with a special focus on free improvisation.

Lecture Room A
Alison House
12 Nicolson Square