Digital performance, production and play

Hearing the Mystery Plays 1 Untitled Page

Hearing the Mystery Plays

In July 2014, CoDE Postdoctoral Researcher Mariana Lopez took her sound installation 'Hearing the Mystery Plays' to All Saints Church, Pavement (York, UK).

The installation resulted from Mariana's research into the acoustics of the performance spaces of the York Mystery Plays in medieval times, using computer models. It allowed visitors to explore how the acoustics of the street spaces and different staging configurations might have affected the spoken and sung items of the plays, while also providing information on the technology that made the research project possible.

The installation was part of a series of events that accompanied the 2014 staging of the York Mystery Plays.

Transforming Digital Music

This project will develop a unique interactive music album format that could transform the way we listen to and engage with digital music. This innovative technology will allow users to manipulate and interact with music in ways that have not previously been possible, with the aim of bringing new user experiences and opening a number of artistic and commercial opportunities for music artists and the music industry in general. The research is funded through the Arts and Humanities Research Council's Digital Transformations theme to a total value of £80,000 and is led by CoDE Director Dr Rob Toulson in collaboration with Justin Paterson of the London College of Music at the University of West London. The project start date was September 2014, for a total duration of eight months.

The project is designed to amplify the current NESTA-funded work of CoDE and collaborator Script Ltd, which focuses on identifying and evaluating new modes of engagement between popular artists and audiences. Other collaborators on the Transforming Digital Music project include the music artist 'Daisy and The Dark' and award winning Mastering Engineer Mandy Parnell of Black Saloon Studios. Our research objectives are focused on investigating two specific aspects of advanced digital music reproduction, i.e. what are the opportunities and capabilities of interactive music playback for 1) the artist (and record label) and 2) the music consumer or listener. Therefore by working in collaboration with a recognised music artist and music industry representatives, we will define and appraise this potential future of music releases.


Triggered is a music and dance collaboration which examines the nature of electronic and digital interfaces for musical and physical expression. The project employs an innovative use of custom software and sculptural sensor clusters, the data from which is used to control multiple and evolving musical parameters. Algorithms within the software are used to explore relationships and feedback mechanisms between sound and movement. The current outputs of this project include creative exploration using these means to create a significant public performance at Kings Place, London, on Monday 13 June 2011. The project is a collaboration between Dr Richard Hoadley and Dr Tom Hall (Department of Music and Performing Arts and the Digital Performance Laboratory), with Dr Cheryl Frances-Hoad (Opera North/University of Leeds), Jane Turner (London Metropolitan University) and guest musicians Dr Sam Hayden (University of Durham) and Dr Jonathan Impett (University of East Anglia).

Oscar Pizzo performing on Giacinto Scelsi's Ondiolas from 'Via san Teodoro 8' from 'Via di San Teodoro 8' (HD Video 2010) Dir. David Ryan, D.o.P. Tim Sidell-Rodriguez, sound; Emanuele Costantini

Beyond the Soundtrack

This project has been created to examine the relationship between sound and film/video in the wake of the expansions of sonic arts and developments both in new technologies and the creative use of 'outmoded' means of technical production.

It aims to bring together international practitioners, scholars and institutions to explore, through workshops, practice-based presentations and collaborations - and deconstruct, critically, the present possibilities of sound-image relations. It also aims to run the gamut of historic media - pre-electrical, analogue, digital and surround.

At the core of the project lie questions and concerns around problems of new aesthetic potentials (rather than research into purely technical outcomes) of sound image relations and how these might inform both theoretical discourse and practice-based research. CoDE seedfunding will enable additional research and travel to secure European collaboration in the project.

Other related outcomes:

  • 2010: Via di San Teodoro 8 (Dir. David Ryan) screened at the Italian Cultural Institute, London, and the Arts Picturhouse, Cambridge. It has also been shown in the Avanca Film Festival and Conference, Portugal, and featured at the Festival Suono nel Suono in Rome, Italy, and will be featured in The Gradisca d'Isonzo Festival, Italy in November 2011
  • David Ryan: 'Changing the System: Politics and Indeterminacy in the 1970s' in Changing the System, the Music of Christian Wolff, ed. Chase/Thomas, Ashgate Academic Press, 2010
  • 2010: Knots and Fields (Dir. Andrew Chesher/David Ryan) - new music at Darmstadt, screened at Kettles Yard, Cambridge and the Darmstadt FerienKurse fur Neue Musik
  • David Ryan: 'We have Eyes as Well as Ears: Experimental Music and the Visual Arts' in The Ashgate Companion to Experimental Music, ed. Saunders, Ashgate Academic Press, 2009.

Generic Interface for Socio-Musical orientation (GISMO)
Touching sound

An interactive workshop concerning human computer interaction in health and music

The Touching Sound project is concerned with developing digital technology systems to enhance mediated interaction in a cultural context. Initially this project has developed new musical instruments for use in Music Therapy applications, allowing a therapist to engage on a heightened level with a patient, such as an autistic child.

The digital instrument, known as a Generic Interface for Socio-Musical Orientation (GISMO) allows new therapeutic opportunities which are not provided by conventional instruments. Furthermore the recording of user data and the opportunity for remote therapy sessions bring major benefits.

The aim of the workshop is to inform and discuss these fundamental ideas, as well as related theories and innovative applications in music instrumentation, gestural and movement interaction, multisensory engagement and entrainment and synchronisation, rhythm and prosody, emotion and responsivity. The workshop's results will contribute to a conclusive framework for the funding bid to the NIHR Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity (RISC) Programme.

The collaboration team includes Helen Odell-Miller (Anglia Ruskin Music and Health Research Group), Richard Hoadley (CoDE/DPL/MPA), Satinder Gill (Centre for Music and Science), Cecily Morrison (Cambridge University Engineering Department), Ian Cross (West Road Centre for Music and Science) and Phil Barnard (MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit), Gill Westland (Cambridge Body Psychotherapy Centre) and Bonnie Kemske (tactile artist).

Sound and Audio Engineering Research Group (SAERG)

The Sound and Audio Engineering Research Group embraces knowledge and innovation in the fields of sound recording and production, sound analysis and synthesis, audio electronics, acoustics and psychoacoustics, digital audio processing, audio forensics and audio data management and distribution. The key motivation of the group is to develop novel engineering knowledge and technique for the creative audio industries, as well as engaging in innovative design in all facets of the audio engineering field. Furthermore, industrial collaboration is key to the success of SAERG.