Gesture and listening.

Towards a social and eco-systemic hyperinstrument composition



The research implements interactive music processes involving sound synthesis and symbolic treatments within a single environment.

The algorithms are driven by classical instrumental performance through hybrid systems called hyperinstruments, in which the sensing of the performance gestures leads to open and goal-oriented generative music forms.

The interactions are composed with MAX/Msp, designing contexts and relationships between real-time instrumental timbre analysis (sometimes with added inertial motion tracking) with a gesture-based idea of form shaping. Physical classical instruments are treated as interfaces, giving rise to the need to develop unconventional mapping strategies on account of the multi-dimensional and interconnecting quality of timbre.

Performance and sound gestures are viewed as salient energies, phrasings and articulations carrying information about human intentions, in this way becoming able to change the musical behaviour of a composition inside a coded dramaturgy. The interactive networks are designed in order to integrate traditional music practices and “languages” with computational systems designed to be self-regulating, through the mediation of timbre space and performance gestural descriptions.

Following its classic definition, technology aims to be mainly related not to mechanical practices but rather to rhetorical approaches: for this reason the software often foresees interactive scores, and must be performed in accordance with a set of external verbal (and video) explanations, whose technical detail should nevertheless not impair the most intuitive approach to music making.


This research would never be started without the Machover’s leading ideas and implementations of the hyperinstruments, hyper-strings, hyper-cello  developed at the MIT since the 90s. Further relevant aspects of my compositional work relay on and develops the concepts of Performance Ecosystems by Eigenfeldt, and Audible Ecosystems by Di Scipio.