Repetition over 3 Guitar Tracks

This context of the research is founded on the playing of repeated drum improvisations over three separate guitar track improvisations (by Red Whyte). Through the Spatial Notation system, the improvisational approach is able to be spatialized in three dimensions concurrently.


Layered Relationships

This is the 3D spatial notation video for my  composition comprising 5 layers of improvised drum solos. Sounds have been processed and spatialised for an 8 speaker sound system. The video shows the 5 different layers and how they relate to each other.

PRS 2- 2016 Abstract

Exploring Musico-Spatial Design Creative Practice

I position my research within the merging of previously disparate practices in architecture and music (percussion). My interest lies in a ’Musico-Spatial Design’ creative practice wherein spatial design forms a lens through which to understand music. Through a generative process of mass-improvisation, I have explored approaches to spatialized drum notation using parametric spatial design tools to form orthographic, perspectival, immersive and haptic representations of music. These representations, natural for spatial designers, act to challenge the traditional music score. Project work has involved affordance experiments of spatialized notation in 3D CAD, 3D printing and in Virtual Environments. Speculative project work is proposed in the second half of the research to further ideation and to bring together the trajectories of improvisation, performance, spatialized notation and design within a merged musico-spatial design creative practice.


Air Drumming

Whilst there has been many New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) in the form of Air Sticks etc, there’s nothing like Air Drumming for some “Airness”. I cameoed at the World Air Guitar Championships in Oulu Finland in August 2016- check the clip here.


Sound and Music Computing 2016 Conference Poster

I have written a paper and submitted a poster in Hamburg at the 2016 SMC Conference. Link here for the full paper on p197.

ABSTRACT: This research operates at the intersection of music and spatial design within the context of improvised digital drumming. We outline a creative design research project founded on the generation of a large body of improvised drum output with the intention of identifying a set of ‘referent (Pressing 1987)’ improvisations, patterns and phrases within the phenomenology of improvisation. We outline the development of a parametric computational framework using software from the spatial design industry to provide affordance (Gibson 1979) to understanding the complexities of drum improvisation.

The ‘ImprovSpace’ Grasshopper script, operating within Rhino3DTM enables the 3D spatialization of digital drum-based improvisations wherein the parameters of drum notes, duration and velocity all can be flexibly manipulated. Drum phrases and patterns can be compared individually and clusters of repeated elements can be found within a larger corpus of improvisations. The framework enables insights into the specific attributes that constitute individual style including playing behind and ahead of the beat, microtiming, rubato and other elements. It is proposed that, by bringing these improvisations into visual and spatial domain in plan, elevation and isometric projections, a theoretic musico-perspectival hinge may be deconstructed. This may provide insights for non-reading, visually and spatially dominant musicians within reflective, educational and other contexts.

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eCAADe 2016 Presentation

In August 2016, I presented a paper at the Education in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe conference- on improvisation in music and architecture…Download paper here and presentation here.

Abstract: Musical improvisation is a complex field of the study of creativity wherein the musician – according to jazz pianist Herbie Hancock – improvises by ‘starting with nothing’ and ‘ending up with something’. We explore a ‘Musico-Spatial Design’ creative practice design research project that uses parametric spatial design tools to research musical improvisation, then takes knowledge gained from this process to illuminate aspects of improvisation within parametric spatial design processes. Our investigation of musical and parametric spatial design improvisation provides insights into how both novices and experts engage in improvisation and how they don’t really ‘start with nothing’ but bring into the design conversation a varying range of referents to inform designerly intent.

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PRS-1 2016 Abstract

Improvisation in Musico-Spatial Creative Practice

My research operates at the intersection of the domains of music and architecture through a merged ‘Musico-Spatial Design creative practice. Research is founded on the central question: What new insights into the ‘infinite art of improvisation (Berliner 2009)’ may be afforded through a merged ’Musico-spatial Design Practice’ wherein spatial design knowledge informs musical performance practice and musical knowledge informs spatial design practice?’ Improvisational performance practice is examined through project work in solo and group performance within an auto-ethnographic framework. This culminates in the development of a ‘Multi-Parameter Framework for Improvisation Research’ (MPFIRe) that integrates parametric modelling, consumer level BrainWare and cybernetics to understand the complexities, synergies, form and flow of musical improvisation. Thus, my creative practice design research is founded on an affordance of novel insights into a merged musico-spatial design creative practice.

PRS-2 2015 Abstract

ImprovScapes: Improvisation in Musico-Spatial Creative Practice

This research examines improvisation in musical and spatial creative practice. Current project work is focussed on understanding my own practice in drums and percussion in the context of ‘the infinite art’ (Berliner 2009) of musical improvisation, ‘tacit knowing in action’ (Schön 1987), my own ‘referents’ (Pressing 1987) and musical language across a variety of contexts. A multi-modal improvisational analytical framework is being developed that allows four-dimensional insights into musical improvisation using sound, MIDI output, visualisation, EEG tracking, reflection-on-action (Schön 1983) and creative vector (Fischer 2014) analysis. Future project work will be framed around using knowledge gained in this project in a generative context, in consideration of a merging of musical and spatial creative practices, within the context of my home and work environment- the Great Ocean Road.

PRS 1-2015 Abstract



This research focusses on elements of the act of performance as a vehicle for the study of time and space within a creative practice framework. A series of projects are being developed that examine issues relating to design and creative processes through the principal vehicle of the electronic drum kit, utilised by the author as a tool for creative expression. Projects will focus on aspects of musicality, including improvisation, time keeping (and time lapsing), solo playing, playing along with set musical pieces and playing with accompaniment. A principal feature of the research is the use of the MIDI drum kit across a wide spectrum, including as a musical instrument for purposes of producing music, as an analytical tool for the study of improvisation, to enable data processing and for spatialization. It is anticipated that, as the research progresses, novel innovative and alternative uses of the instrument will be explored within a performance context across a range of scales and settings. The study of improvisation, and the ability for both musicians and designers to improvise within the constraints of their tools, is central to this study.