5 Years

My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare
I had to cram so many things to store everything in there

Five years ago, well a couple weeks shy of five years, I began my PhD research under the supervision of Mark Sandler at the Centre for Digital Music (C4DM) in what was then the Department of Electronic Engineering at Queen Mary, University of London. We were a group of 30 or so researchers spread across two offices with a shiny new Listening Room to use in our research.

C4DM in November 2009

C4DM in November 2009

Now we’re something closer to 60 researchers associated with the group spread across four offices (once the construction dust is settled on the new office space). We are also now a part of the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and within qMedia. Along with the Listening Room is a new Control Room and Performance Lab to be used with the Media Arts and Technology doctoral training centre.

Rocking out in the Listening Room

Yves and Matthias in the Listening Room in April 2007. Not many people know this, but Yves is a particularly talented trumpeter.

This September will commemorate 10 years of C4DM as a research group, and it will be the first September since 2005 that I will not be a researcher within it. I submitted my PhD thesis in July 2010 and have been a postdoctoral research assistant since then. It’s been an amazing time, but universities need turnover – they thrive on a continuous flow of new people with new talents and passions – so it is time to move on.

Presentations on MIR to the public at the Dana Centre.

Presentations on music information retrieval to the public at the Dana Centre as part of the OMRAS2 project in 2008. Photo taken by Elaine Chew.

I’m not going very far (in fact I’ll be back tomorrow for a meeting), but it still feels like a significant change. I’m not ready to publicly announce my next steps, but I’m happy to talk with you in person about what exciting things I will be up to past August. I’ll be talking about my new venture at the C4DM 10th Anniversary Event: Past, Present and Future, so come along to that! Even if you’re not bothered about what I’ll be up to, come along anyway! There’s also an evening event.

C4DM stand at the Big Bang in 2010

The C4DM exhibition stand at the Big Bang Science Festival in 2010.

Goodbye, C4DM!

21 Ways to Listen to Your Music

There may be 85+ ways to visualize your music, but there are also 21 ways to listen to it. This is the first of what will be a series of posts summarizing some of the content of my PhD thesis. My whole thesis will eventually be available here after my viva.

I’ve gathered a list of interfaces that help explore a collection of audio. The primary focus is on interfaces which use spatial audio, but I have included some interfaces with interesting design ideas that don’t use spatial audio though use audio playback in an innovative way. The earliest work focuses on efficiently browsing speech signals while later work focuses on presenting multiple music streams at the same time, usually by sonifying a 2D arrangement of music. Some of the most recent work looks at using virtual 3D worlds to explore music as an individual or collaboratively. Continue reading