2.3.2 The electronic instrument as a contributor to new music


There seems to be agreement in the forums on music technology that I have attended on one important issue: a crucial part of the development of a new instrument is that it should be mastered musically and put into a musical context where the musical ideas are the main focus. This process has to involve a musician (or several). It is a demanding project, as Alex Nowitz has confirmed to me when sharing his experiences about developing and rehearsing his work using Wii-controllers[1] and his new Strophonions[2]. (I experienced the work of Nowitz, presented at the NIME, as an exception from other presentations in this regard ‒ it is obvious to me that his musical work and the development of the instrument have intertwined very closely along the way.) Furthermore, I find that Nowitz’ project demonstrates how the development of new technology can contribute directly to new kinds of music, and that the technology and the new instrument can sometimes be a more important part of this development than the musician’s genre as such.

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[1] Remote controllers designed for the Nintendo Wii video game, handheld.

[2] I have attended both a demonstration (NIME) and a concert (Trondheim) with Alex Nowitz, working with these handheld controllers, and we have had very useful conversations at these events. Nowitz’ work is described further in Section 1. 5.

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