Towards a Practitioner Model of Mobile Music




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De Montfort University


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Peer reviewed


This practice-based research investigates the mobile paradigm in the context of electronic music, sound and performance; it considers the idea of mobile as a lens through which a new model of electronic music performance can be interrogated. This research explores mobile media devices as tools and modes of artistic expression in everyday contexts and situations. While many of the previous studies have tended to focus upon the design and construction of new hardware and software systems, this research puts performance practice at the centre of its analysis. This research builds a methodological and practical framework that draws upon theories of mobile-mediated aurality, rhetoric on the practice of walking, relational aesthetics, and urban and natural environments as sites for musical performance. The aim is to question the spaces commonly associated with electronic music – where it is situated, listened to and experienced. This thesis concentrates on the creative use of existing systems using generic mobile devices – smartphones, tablets and HD cameras – and commercially available apps. It will describe the development, implementation and evaluation of a self-contained performance system utilising digital signal processing apps and the interconnectivity of an inter-app routing system. This is an area of investigation that other research programmes have not addressed in any depth. This research’s enquiries will be held in dynamic and often unpredictable conditions, from navigating busy streets to the fold down shelf on the back of a train seat, as a solo performer or larger groups of players, working with musicians, nonmusicians and other participants. Along the way, it examines how ubiquitous mobile technology and its total access might promote inclusivity and creativity through the cultural adhesive of mobile media. This research aims to explore how being mobile has unrealised potential to change the methods and experiences of making electronic music, to generate a new kind of performer identity and as a consequence lead towards a practitioner model of mobile music.





Research Institute