Affine Tuning

2021 | iPhone app

Embodied Interaction and Dynamic Composition

Affine Tuning seeks to connect digital embodied interaction with dynamic music composition. In a place of their chosing, the audience can interact with musical pieces through their body movement and posture. Their performance is captured by the phone camera and analyzed through pose estimation software. This image processing happens locally on the device. The feedback is audio only.

One core idea of the project is to present a system which is quite open, using a combination of rudimentary principles. Those are relating the intensity of rhythm to the energy of the movement, and the pitch of the sound to the raise of certain limbs. Further, more, specialized interaction methods are specific to the selected composition.

Visualisations from custom software which I use for inspiration.

The reasoning behind this rather loose model is that both the player and composer should have freedom for artistic expression without coupling every instance of it in a tight feedback loop. Affine Tuning is not an instrument that can be controlled. Rather, it creates a virtual space for a cycle of interpretations, of questions and answers, in which an ephemeral experience with a lasting impression can take place. Eventually, it represents an optimistic view on ambient interactions between humans and computers.

A deep dive into the project can be found in this thesis documentation.

Original Music

The music in Affine Tuning are all original compositions. Currently there are three pieces, each focusing on a different aspect and encouraging different kinds of movements. For example, in the piece "Mountain", players not only influence the onset timings and note pitch but also the note length.

Marlene Gerber performs "Mountain", completely improvised.

Experience it yourself

All these descriptions are not really satisfying, and the obvious makeshift, the videos on this page, are also only a shadow of experience. The focus lies explicitly not on this kind of presentation, but on the individual experience.

If you have an iPhone XS or newer and want to experience Affine Tuning, please download the app from the official App Store by clicking on the icon below.