What did we want to learn?
Our objectives for the project are quite different so working out how to achieve them and ensure that we learnt what we needed to whilst balancing the needs of all participants wasn't going to be easy.
So what did we want to learn?
- At the highest level we wanted to know different technologies would help people to make music
- We wanted to know what kind of music our participants wanted to make, and why
Those might sound like simple objectives, but there's a lot in there.
What did we use?
- Leap Motion
- IK Multimedia iRing
Not a huge selection, but actually diverse enough to provide a wide range of gestural interfaces for all participants.
Who was involved?
This workshop had a really diverse selection of people from across the project, including Wayne, Lily and Cheryl, three Heart n Soul artists with very different motivations for music making, who we hope will be part of the team for the duration of the project.
How did it work?
The actual workshop was very free form. Everyone was able to try out any or all of the available technologies to see how they worked for them and if they found them useful in achieving their own goals in making music.
Some participants found some things more useful than others. Some participants used a single technology for well over an hour. Other technologies didn't work out nearly as well as we'd hoped. Leap Motion was something we had high hopes for, but didn't perform as we'd hoped in this workshop.
The IK multimedia iRings were something we'd added late in the day, but proved to be very popular indeed.
The Kinnect decided not to behave at all and couldn't really be tested.
What did we learn?
Possibly one of the most important things we learnt was from interviewing a number of the participants and asking them about why they wanted to make music and what kind of music they wanted to create. This in itself gave us a great insight into motivations and also how some of the technologies might help with our aspirations. The classic quote from the session was from Lily who was clear that she wanted to make proper beats that didn't seem childish, and that she was willing to take her time to make sure the tracks she developed were the best they could be. Wayne, already very familiar with the iPad as a tool for music making, seemed as determined as ever to try everything to see how it might fit with his way of making tracks.
So, it was a start. A good start, and a good place to learn, but we've got a lot to do to make sure that what we've taken away from our first workshop is applied in the next one.