The Metapiano: Composing and Improvising Through Sculpture


Session Title:

  • Sound and Interaction

Presentation Title:

  • The Metapiano: Composing and Improvising Through Sculpture




  • This paper concerns the design, implementation and demonstration of interactive sculptural interfaces which need to be used by the public as well as by specialist performers such as musicians or dancers.  Options for automatic control are also available.  The set of interfaces under consideration is referred to as the ‘metapiano’, itself a ‘meta-sculpture’ comprising a collection of diverse and independent sculptural items, each of which are being developed to control a sometimes self-referential array of musically expressive algorithms.  In the case of the metapiano the primary sound source, perhaps unsurprisingly, is that of a (synthesised) piano.

    The paper describes the manner in which a viewer/performer interacts with hardware and software systems, examines the nature of the music created, and details how the two are related.  Of particular interest is the way in which the resulting music relates to both new and more traditional forms of composition and performance.

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