Nicolas Bougaïeff: Novel Human-Machine Interfaces For Performance & Production (Software Masterclass)

The laptop computer is a central element in the production and performance of electronic music. The computer is also an extremely versatile everyday object used for work, visual arts and inter-personal communications. Yet, as a musical instrument, the default HMI (Human Machine Interface), consisting of a keyboard and mouse, often falls short.

The digital revolution created a situation, starting in the mid 1990s, where synthesizers and samplers could suddenly be run at low-cost as software plugins. The mid 2000s decade saw a similar process of democratization occur with performance hardware. A proliferation of options for MIDI control, and especially reconfigurable multitouch screens such as Lemur hardware and iPad, opened the door to custom HMI design.

Electronic music production and performance can be seen as a holistic activity involving the body as much as the mind. HMI design can now be seen as a core component of an individual artist’s approach, where the desired relationship between body, mind and sound can be customized to follow a concept or aesthetic. HMI design will be demonstrated through simple techniques involving Ableton Live, MaxMSP and Lemur on iPad.

Nicolas has produced electronic dance music, composed commercial music for video games, developed interactive art installations and created sound art for contemporary dance choreographies. He is one of the founders of Liine – a company whose mission statement is to redefine the way people interact with sound. Since founding. Liine software has been featured on the front cover and inside such media as The Guardian, Future Music, Computer Music, Sound & Recording. Nicolas holds a degree in Electroacoustic Composition from the Montreal Music Conservatory and has recently submitted a thesis for a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Huddersfield.

Read an interview with Nicolas on the Jazzmutant website.