DIEM is continuously involved in various research projects, both DIEM's own projects, which are carried out by students and staff, and projects initiated by external parties such as artists, musicians, institutions, etc.
The research projects are briefly described on this page. Detailed descriptions of many of the projects shown below can be found on the website of Wayne Siegel, professor of electronic music and director of DIEM.
Conducting Sound in Space (2015-2016)
Conducting Sound in Space explores the potential of electronic music that combines production, performance and diffusion into a single integrated creative process. The idea developed from the Wayne Siegel’s previous use of motion-tracking technology in his own artistic practice as a composer and performer. Various motion tracking systems were considered, experiments were conducted with three sound diffusion setups at three venues and a new composition for solo performer and motion-tracking system took form.
Trio for percussion, motion-tracking performance system and robot-controlled pipe organ combines gestural control of electronic sounds in space and generative music for pipe organ. Although there are some through-composed sections, much of the work is improvised. The organ part is played directly by a computer programmed to compose organ music in real time, a sort of composing/improvising robot. The human performers are free to react to each other and to the robot performer.
Trio was premiered on May 9, 2015 at the Aarhus Symphony Hall in connection with the annual SPOR Festival. The work and this performance were supported by the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus as part of the academy’s artistic research program.
Everyone Talks about the Weather (2012-2013)
Everyone Talks about the Weather is a site-specific installation with no beginning or end. Wayne Siegel discovered that the huge pipe organ installed in the Aarhus Symphony Hall of the Concert Hallin 2010 could be controlled by an external computer without human intervention. Siegel designed a computer program that uses generative music algorithms to “compose” organ music: a kind of composer robot. The compositional rules are set by the composer, but the generative algorithms continuously and endlessly generate and transform the work without human intervention. Data from a weather satellite is fed directly into the computer program and used to control the algorithms. Essentially, the weather is conducting the music while the computer is composing it.
See Wayne Siegel’s article about the project here
Drowning/Burning is an interactive sound installation created for the Skive Museum of Art and premiered on June 12, 2010 and exhibited until August 29, 2010. With its anonymous look the big, black box does not quite show what it contains – when stepped upon it burst into a roaring inferno of sampled sounds of water and fire. Drowning/Burning was supported by TEKNE produktion, The RoyaI Academy of Music and The Skive Museum of Art.
Sound Gallery (2009-2010)
The Sound Gallery is a series of site-specific sound installations designed for Bruuns Galleri: one of Denmark’s largest and busiest shopping malls located in the civic center of Aarhus. The goal was to involve the general public through the use of intuitive interaction designed to arouse the visitors’ curiosity, playfulness and attention. The project involved 6 adaptive sound installations placed throughout the shopping mall over a period of three months. The artistic idea behind the Sound Gallery was awarded a prize by the Danish State Arts Foundation in the category “art in public spaces.” Sound Gallery was produced in collaboration with Bruuns Galleri with financial support from the Danish Arts Foundation, The Society of Danish Composers and The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus
Atmosphere – the sound and sight of CO2 (2009)
Atmosphere is a joint project between DIEM and Aarhus Universitet designed for the Hopenhagen LIVE activities in Copenhagen during the COP15 climate summit meeting in December 2009. Four students developed an urban experience-oriented installation that could convert data from CO2 measurements to sound and visuals presented through headphones and on a 2-meter high, quadrant sculpture that functioned as a transparent, low resolution LED screen. Hereby a normally non-sensuous phenomenon became visible and audible giving the public sensuous access to the symbolic villain of climate change: Carbon dioxide.
The Pandora Project (2008-2009)
The Pandora Project was started in 2008 as a continuation of previous work we have done with interactive dance. The project involves experimenting with current motion-tracking technology for interactive dance.
Several software composition environments were created, and experiments were made in collaboration between composer Wayne Siegel, choreographer Brolin-Tani and several dancers using two different hardware systems: (1) an I-Cube Wi-micro System (Mulder, n.d.) with four accelerometers attached to a dancer’s arms and feet and (2) the cv.jit (Pelletier n.d.) software library to extract motion data from the input from a digital camera connected to a computer. We have focused on using the same software composition environments with these two very different types of hardware interfaces to reveal their inherent differences, advantages, and drawbacks.
Adaptive music on the web (2004-2007)
The project Adaptive Music on the Web was initiated by DIEM in 2004 and realized in collaboration with the Department of Computer Science at the University of Aarhus with the support of a generous grant from The Heritage Agency of Denmark under auspices of the Danish Ministry of Culture. The goal of the project was to develop new musical paradigms that allow the listener to influence and alter a piece of music while listening within the context of a common web browser.
Digital Dance (1996-1999)
The Digital Dance Project was a research project conducted at DIEM. The goal of the project was to create a computer music composition that allows a dancer to directly influence musical processes. A wireless dance interface, the DIEM Digital Dance System, was designed and built. Several seminars, compositions, performances and colloborative projects as well as an article in the Computer Music Journal have followed as a result.
The DIEM Digital Dance system is an interface designed especially for interactive dance.The dancer wears up to 14 bending sensors that measure the angles of the dancers limbs.
The bending sensors are connected to a small wireless transmitter worn by the dancer on a belt. Data is transmitted to a receiver unit which sends standard MIDI controller values for each sensor.
The system can be used in any MIDI setup to control music or lighting in a dance performance. The system has been used by intrumentalists to control live computer processing in a concert performance.
The DIEM Digital Dance System has been made commercially available on request by numerous performers, choreographers and composers.