SYMPOSIUM 3: "Microtiming"

March 5-9, 2018

A perennial challenge facing scholars of performance analysis is to find ways to conceptualize and analyze the rich reality of a skilled listener's embodied experience. This symposium explores the relationship among microtiming (millisecond-level variations in the duration of conceptually equal rhythmic units), the embodied experience of musical motion, and the representation of rhythmic experience through verbal and visual abstractions. Dodson brings ideas from recent phenomenological and empirical theories of meter to bear on the interpretation of microtiming data and is developing a new type of analytical animation. This work will benefit from engagement with the ethnographic, cognitive, and historical perspectives explored in the other two symposia, and a close encounter with the work of scholars at the leading edge of computational performance analysis and performance science.


To be announced. Confirmed speakers:

Dr. Werner Goebl (Associate Professor, Music Acoustics, University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna) leads a project on rhythmic coordination in ensemble performance, partnering with the Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence. The project uses motion-capture and eye-tracking technology to examine how musicians coordinate when playing rhythmically ambiguous passages. In earlier projects he developed the "performance worm," a novel analytical animation that represents microtiming and loudness as a succession of overlapping discs moving in a two-dimensional plane.

Dr. Olivier Senn (Professor, Musicology, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, and Director of the Music Performance Studies Research Group) helped develop the most sophisticated tool currently available for microtiming analysis, the Lucerne Audio Recording Analyzer (LARA). His recent analytical projects have included empirical and perceptual studies on both classical and jazz recordings.
Dr. Richard Beaudoin (Visiting Research Fellow, Composition, Royal Academy of Music, London) has developed, in collaboration with Senn, a new compositional method that uses microtiming analyses generated by LARA as a resource for his composition, which have been performed at prestigious venues including London's Royal Festival Hall. He has taught music theory at Harvard University among other institutions, and published in leading scholarly journals. As a composer, Beaudoin offers a unique, artistic perspective on the relationship between microtiming and musical experience.