[ISEA96] Institutional Presentation: Antonio Tarabella – Computer Music CNUCE/CNR

Institutional Presentation Statement

The CNUCE Institute, founded in 1965 and attached to the National Council of Research, has a staff of more than 120 active in the departments of logic programming, computer network, satellite flight control, data bases, parallel computing, structural engineering, remote sensing, computer graphics and computer music. The activities at the Computer Music Department of CNUCE/CNR – Pisa mainly consist of Applied Research, Education, Music production and Organization of concerts and special events: – applied Research involves the design and the implementation of original hardware and software tools to be used in interactive live ?performances; – a course on Computer Music is yearly taught at the Computer Science Dept. of Pisa University; – a special summer school is yearly organized together with the Music Dept. of the New York University including workshops and live-interactive computer music and computer graphics events. Interaction is the keyword that characterizes the activity of the Computer Music Department of CNUCE: a Workshop on Man-Machine Interaction in Live Performance took place in Pisa in 1991 and reported in Interface, Journal of New Music Research n.22, 1993. In order to put at work the power of the algorithmic composition approach, a special language called Real-Time Concurrent PascalMusic (RTCPM) has been developed: a peculiarity of RTCPM is the possibility of defining the composition in terms of many procedures running at the same time and interacting with the program/composition during the execution; this is obtained by selectively sensing actions performed on external devices and making decisions on the basis of human performers gesture. Sensors typically used in robotics are taken into consideration for developing original devices: infra-red beams (IR), CCD cameras for video capture and image processing (IP). The basic idea consists of carrying out special devices for remote sensing (i.e. without mechanical and/or electrical links) moving objects handled by performers or gesture of the human body (dancers, painters,etc..) to be used in interactive computer music/graphics live-performances. The most relevant devices developed at the Computer Music Dept. of CNUCE are: the Twin Towers device (IR) which detects positions and gesture of the hands so implementing a sort of two aerial tri-dimensional joy-sticks; the Light Baton system (IP) which detects the movements of an orchestra conductor for controlling virtual ensembles of performers; the Aerial-Painting-Hands system (IP) which detects positions and movements of a painter’s hands in live interactive computer graphics/music performances; the UV-stick system (IP) i.e. a UV-lamp lighted straight stick whose 3-d position and 3-d rotation are recognized; the Imaginary Piano system(IP), where the hands of a performer play in the air with no real keyboard. Following a tradition of the department in developing sound machines, special DSP based boards for realtime signal synthesis and processing have being carried out; besides, a special graphic-editor for DSP algorithms has been implemented. The Computer Music Department of CNUCE promoted, and is deeply involved in, the realization of the ESPRIT project CATS (Computer Aided Theatrical Score) for theatre and cinema direction simulation (also called the multimedia script). The staff of the Computer Music Department of CNUCE (Leonello Tarabella, Graziano Bertini, Alfonso Belfiore, Paolo Carosi, Giuseppe Scapellato, Massimo Magrini, Mauro Lupone, Giovanni Chiparo, Marco Cardini) consists of people specialized and graduated in the various work-areas: computer science, music, visual arts, drama.

  • Antonio Tarabella, Italy,┬áCNUCE Institute