Thinktanks 2021

Overview of IPEM's Think Tanks 2021

The Listening Planet | Martyn Stewart

Friday December 17th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

More than 75% of the habitats recorded in either no longer exist or have long since been silenced or are so radically altered that they are altogether silent or can no longer be heard in their original form. When I began recording, I could record for 10 hours and capture one hour of usable material ... Nowadays it can take 1,000 hours of recording to get just one hour of usable material. The difficulty of recording natural soundscapes also speaks to the devastating changes happening in many ecosystems because of global warming, resource extraction and human noise. That is why I founded The Listening Planet, to express the voice of the natural world and, through the power of sound, awaken a connection deep inside all of us: a love, understanding and respect for the importance and fragility of the place we call home and a passion to safeguard its future.

We organize our work around four key areas:

  • Inspiration to use the power of sound to inspire a love and appreciation of the natural world.
  • Preservation of nature sounds – an extensive library of natural soundscapes and sounds
  • Conservation We’re adding nature’s own voice to the urgent call for its conservation and protection.
  • Education to inspire and educate the next generation of sound recordists, conservationists and stewards of the natural world.

The think tank session will be an introduction to my work and an invitation to explore potential collaborations.

Martyn Stewart has been a world-leading sound recordist since 1975, recording in over 50 countries and capturing over 3500 species of birds, countless insects, amphibians and mammals. He has made it his life's mission to record the world one species at a time. The collection currently contains over 30,000 hours of nature sounds and soundscapes, more than 90,000 individual sounds and as many intimate stories from the natural world.

Digitising the indigenous and indigenising the digital: Using new technologies to create ethically-minded paths for circulation of traditional dances | Jorge Poveda Yánez

Friday December 3rd at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

The aim of this research project is to contribute to the decolonizing imperative to explore, understand and critique the possibilities that new digital technologies convey for the safeguarding of indigenous intangible cultural heritage (ICH) practices with a special accent on dance. Misappropriation, disrespectful uses, and lack of attribution of their artistic practices are troubles that traditional peoples keep facing, even more intensely within the digital sphere, which is becoming the most prominent arena for circulation of cultural products after the crisis of COVID19. The interdisciplinary methodology is designed to deliver theoretical and critical frameworks to support future development of reliable decentralised applications to enjoy, share, profit or circulate expressions of cultural heritage in informed and ethically-minded ways. Blockchain architectures, motion-capture, and other digitization tools are to be examined within the margins wherein they are embedded: intellectual property laws, interculturalism and accessibility issues. Along with the rigorous analysis of technological affordances and legal constraints, an art-based methodology to engage with indigenous practitioners will produce insight into the imaginaries and expectations that new technologies yield. Fostering and envisioning, through this complementary and participative process, the concrete and abstract layers of indigenous futurism after the digital age.

Jorge Poveda Yánez is an interdisciplinary professional with formal training in Law (UDLA-ECU) and the Performing Arts (UCE), with an additional MA degree in Intangible Cultural Heritage and Dance Anthropology (UCA-FRA). After working on performative practices and community development for multiple non-profits as Embodying Reconciliation - Colombia, Asylum Access, and Amigos de las Américas - Panama, he became a Lecturer at the Faculty of Arts of Universidad Central del Ecuador. Jorge is interested in researching the interconnections between human rights, multiculturalism, arts, and new technologies.

CONBOTS: Longitudinal study design | Adriaan Campo & Aleksandra Michalko

Friday October 22nd at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

CONBOTS is a European project which aims to help humans to learn fine sensorimotor skills (handwriting and music learning) by assisting them with robots, artificial agents and augmented reality. Ghent University leads the validation of CONBOTS music learning platform in realistic environments.

Learning to play a music instrument requires the development of very precise sensorimotor control in time and in space. For instance, the control of bowing gestures for violin playing, or the control of gestures for drum playing, requires a fine-grained control of hand and fingers. Nevertheless, to our knowledge, there does not exist a standardized method nor a paradigm to quantitatively assess progress of sensorimotor skills in beginner violin and drum students over time.
By discussing the state of art literature from different fields (e.g. music education, skill acquisition psychology, biomechanics etc.) as well as hand-on experience of violin and drum teachers, we will present the design of our longitudinal study which will help us to answer the question: Which parameters can we use to assess the progress of sensorimotor skills of beginner violin and drum students over time?

Adriaan Campo & Aleksandra Michalko are a PhD researchers at IPEM UGent.

Live! | Giusy Caruso

Friday October 15th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

Dear professors and colleagues, I have just started my new artistic project at AP (University and Royal Conservatory of Antwerp) within the research groups MAXlab and CREATIE, in collaboration with IPEM. I am pleased to briefly share with you the contents of the project during the upcoming think tank and receive your feedback, suggestions or possible collaborations. Here below, there is a description of the project. Afterwards, pies and drinks will follow in presence to celebrate the beginning of this new adventure all together. Thank you for your support! Giusy

With my research T*ActiLE: Technology and Action-led Experience in contemporary music performance, I want to explore ways to apply interactive technology (biosensors and A/VR) as a performative-based tool to develop expressiveness and augment the fruition of contemporary music performance. Especially in today’s global pandemic period, where tactile connections remained as virtually as possible mediated by technology, there is a tangible lack of research on immersive and interactive music performance at a distance. Imagining future scenarios, artistic researches on gestural interaction and digital artistic forms of broadcasting are all the more needed to potentiate the evolution of music performance and to reconnect artists and spectators also in remote condition via disembodied digital and virtual scene. A step further will be to involve the audience in participatory action and investigate their engagement in form of embodied co-creations.

Giusy Caruso is a post-doc researcher at IPEM UGent.

Persons with cerebellar lesions: let’s get them synching! | Lousin Moumdjian

Friday October 15th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

I would like to pitch the storyline of the project proposal which I will be submitting to FWO (post-doc mandate) on the 1st of Dec. The project includes patients with cerebellar lesions, a disease characterized by symptoms of coordination impairments such as ataxia, which significantly affects balance and gait. Cerebellar lesions also have an impact on correction mechanisms (errors in correcting feedback and control of movement), as well as on cognitive functions. During the pitch, I will present the rationale, the theoretical framework and experimental design that I am thinking of using to investigate the overall project aim. I also would be presenting results of pilot data collected. During the think-tank, I urge and welcome critical thoughts, remarks and questions at this stage, in order to move this project forward (for writing and hopefully for executing)!

Lousin Moumdjian is a post-doc researcher at IPEM UGent.

Musical rhythm and synchronisation in normal and pathological aging | Andres von Schnehen

Friday October 1st at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

Music-based interventions are increasingly proposed in the treatment and care of people with neurocognitive disorders, with some evidence suggesting positive effects on mood and cognition. Nonetheless, the mechanisms that render such interventions effective are far from understood. We argue that an important predictor of their efficacy might be the degree to which they foster rhythmic entrainment. Therefore, ensuring the success of music-based interventions requires an understanding of the dynamics of sensorimotor synchronisation (SMS) and of how they are affected by old age and neurodegenerative disorder. Specifically, this research requires an awareness of the fact that neurocognitive disorders are a diverse set of afflictions in which the neural and cognitive picture is affected by aetiology as well as progressions, and SMS abilities might be affected accordingly.

In this PhD project, we investigate the temporal, social, and musical dynamics of synchronisation. First, we manipulate musical and metronomic to introduce subtle tempo changes to investigate how in synchronous movement, correction for these irregularities is implemented on a neural and cognitive level, and to what extent these processes are affected by old age and neurodegenerative disease. Furthermore, in interpersonal synchronisation, we ask questions such as: Does a cognitively impaired person follow the music or the other person? What role do facial expressions, eye contact, etc. play? What musical features (valence, lyrical content, etc.) are important to foster beat synchronisation? Our findings will inform the conception of effective music-based interventions in major and minor neurocognitive impairment and help us understand how they work.

Andres von Schnehen is a PhD researcher at PSITEC Laboratory, University of Lille. His supervisors are Pr. Séverine Samson (PSITEC Laboratory) & Pr. François Puisieux (Geriatric Hospital Les Bateliers, Lille University Hospital).

Moving together to the beat: A path to embodied musical creativity? | Adrian Kempf

Friday June 11th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

Synchronous movements to the musical beat have been investigated from different angles. Inspired by this scholarship, in this talk I report on a novel study exploring the social dynamics emerging when we move in synchrony to music with a virtual, imagined partner. Preliminary results show that such an activity does impact how close we feel to the virtual partner. This suggests that the feeling of closeness, often emerging in musical activities, might rely on a range of social dynamics that can be captured empirically. To conclude, this insight will be explored in the context of group creativity (e.g., musical improvisation), and a novel experimental approach will be presented."

Adrian Kempf is a PhD researcher at the Centre for Systematic Musicology in Graz. He studied computer engineering and philosophy in Vienna, and then obtained an MSc in cognitive science in Potsdam. In his PhD he is investigating musical creativity from the perspective of embodied cognition.

The Sahelian Factor in the Contemporarily Idioms of Music-Making in Northern Ghana | Dominiek Pyfferoen

Friday June 11th at 15.00, online IPEM UGent

In this paper we introduce a theoretical model that disconnects the structural key components in the digital contemporary idioms of music-making in the Sudanic Savannah Belt of Northern Ghana from the cultural components of language and ethnicity. We argue for that disconnection because our data shows that the prevailing ethno-linguistic anthropological classification of languages in the Northern parts of Ghana is a linguistic model  and cannot be fully applied to the contemporary digital idioms of music-making in that area. Classifying contemporary musical idioms according to the ethno-linguistic model of languages and ethnicities acts as a historical remnant from the colonial period. Our model shows that the historical ethno-linguistic tribal division of music-making in Africa cannot be longer fully applied to the current the new digital online contemporary idioms. The production, reproduction and distribution of music in the Sudanic Savannah Belt in Ghana has become mobile, digital. Music transforms and blends from the traditional idioms into a hybrid local Afro-techno pop culture of neo-traditional and contemporary idioms. The Sudanic Savannah Belt is an immense geographical area that accommodates a wide variety of musical traditions. The Northern Region of Ghana is part of that rich cultural dynamical belt and shows a  remarkable distribution and a wide variety of cultural forms of musical expressions, including the traditional idioms, neo-traditional and the digital contemporary idioms. These forms of cultural expressions are very dynamical and influence both the socio - economic and geopolitical way of life. The various forms of musical expressions, take place within a cultural time-space zone which is not totally bound by the geopolitical territories. The Sahelian factor in the music of Northern Ghana is a key component that contributes to the dynamics of music-making in the Sudanic Savannah Belt showing a clear distinction between cultural key components and structural key components in music-making. On the one hand, the model shows that on the semantic level there is an intimate close relationship between music and the local languages e.g. the lyrical use of probers and narratives in the drum rhythms, the use of tone language in the Akarima drum messages when playing in the speech mode of drumming. On the other hand the model shows that on the level of the structural key components, which are the mathematically measurable components in music, the building blocks from which music is built of, that a disconnection of language and ethnicity occurs. On the semantic level, the language-related components, are the different relationships between tone language and music. It is a very important factor in the traditional and the contemporary idioms of music-making in the Sudanic Savannah Belt of Northern Ghana. On the hand in the structural key components, our analysis shows that music and dance cultures in Northern Ghana interact with each other and that these contemporary digital idioms of music-making have more similarities than differences. By the hand of cultural analysis we show the distribution of the Bamaaya, Takai, Tora, Simpa and Tindana dances. Our audio analysis shows that the distribution of a nasal timbre, the concept of the movable one, the intensity factor, modal structures in the harmony and the tempo stability factor in de dance mode of drumming  are structural key components that contribute to the dynamics of music-making in this area. Cultural components that contribute to the Sahelian factor are the lyrical use of proverbs, the intimate relationship between language and drum language, the phenomenon of chieftaincy in the promotion and sponsoring of the local traditions by the local chiefs, the spread of the Islam, the organization of oral education, the organization of informal markets, the mobility of these musical cultures in combination with factors of globalization. The Sahelian factor in the music of Northern Ghana is linked to the phenomenon of cultural co-resonance and the local star cults, the discourse of globalization of music as a mobile digital form of art, the online streaming and the distribution of music through social media and the entertainment industries, a booming local Bollywoodish inspired film industry. These unique combinations of transforming and blending endogenous musical and cultural elements in combinations with foreigner (western cultural) digital techniques and elements makes Northern Ghana and the Dagbon Hiplife Zone in Tamale a vibrating entertainment scene, an intangible liminal place of cultural production, reproduction and distribution or digital arts. The division of music-making in the contemporary digital idioms according to the established generally accepted ethno-linguistic anthropological classification model of classifying music according to languages and ethnicities seems somewhat outmoded. It is a historical remnant and echo from a colonial past. Tribalism and ethnicities are cultural components and has little  to see with the contemporary idioms of music-making. The ethno-linguistic anthropological classification model of classifying these contemporary idioms of music-making according to languages and ethnicities functions for the new upcoming generation of musicians in that part of Africa as a mental colonial force. Meaning that it is one of the major jammers that blocks the local Afro-techno pop musicians from breaking through internationally.

Data management in the Krook Labs | Bart Moens

This is an internal IPEM thinktank/workshop
Friday June 4th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

In recent years, data management has become quite a big topic. In this Think Tank, we'll present the general approach and best practices for IPEM's research & projects on how to plan, manage and process data. Starting from required administrative tasks such as data management plans (DMP's) & ethical commissions, we will go more in-depth into the facilities that IPEM provides such as data storage, research templates and data processing templates that apply to the Krook Labs.

MusiXR - Improving group musical experiences in virtual reality: tuning auralization realism and visual simulations for optimal subjective feeling of presence

This think tank is a team presentation by Fleur Hubau (imec), Stéphanie Wilain (IPEM), and Kristel Crombé (IPEM)
The promotors, Pieter-Jan Maes (IPEM), Nilesh Madhu (imec), and Bart Moens (IPEM) briefly introduce the presentation.

Friday May 28th at 15.00, online IPEM UGent

Extended Reality technologies (or XR encompassing virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality) offer methodological tools that allow merging different disciplines, including architecture (Whyte, 2003), acoustics (Johansson, 2019), entertainment and education (Vostinar, Horvathova, Mitter, & Bako, 2021), psychology (Blascovich et al., 2002), neuroscience (Parsons, Gaggioli, & Riva, 2017), healthcare (Riva, Wiederhold, & Mantovani, 2019). In this vein, MusiXR is an interdisciplinary research project that aims at developing and studying realistic musical concert experiences in extended reality while furthering knowledge on how humans interact with music through technology. Specifically, the project aims at improving the simulation of room acoustics in XR musical environments in combination with obtaining a better understanding of the behaviour, cognition, and emotion of users (musicians and listeners) engaged in such XR music concert experiences. In essence, the project articulates around three points of investigations. Firstly, the auralization of musical environments, in terms of sound positioning and room acoustics, is currently inadequate for dynamic, multi-user scenarios (Johansson, 2019; Çamcı & Hamilton, 2020). Secondly, empirical methods for assessing the subjective user experience in musical VR environments, in terms of ‘presence’ (Slater, 2018) can be improved. Thirdly, no satisfying framework exists at present to investigate the relationship between ‘technical realism’ (encompassing auditory realism or ‘auralisation’, and visual realism) and ‘subjectively-perceived realism’ from which the feeling of presence emerges in musical VR environments.
Consequently, this project stems from an interdisciplinary challenge requiring a combination of current state-of-the-art knowledge and expertise in both the engineering and humanities domains. As such, the project aims to bridge technological realism and subjectively perceived realism. To achieve that, the project is polarized around two focuses. A first focus is oriented towards the development of the auralization engine, starting with the implementation of state-of-the-art algorithms such as wave field synthesis (WFS), higher order ambisonics (HOA) and graphical beam tracking for AR. A second focus consists in testing empirically different music concert scenarios in XR to better understand the sense of ‘presence’ that users experience in XR musical concerts. Presence is rooted in the study of behavioural, cognitive, and emotional responses of users (musicians and listeners). This involves quantitative measurement, analysis and modelling of body movement and (neuro)physiological data, as well as qualitative assessments. The quantification of presence will be fed back to the auralization engine to improve user immersion.

Leon van Noorden | Common wearables can help to assess the quality of relaxation by monitoring involuntary movements and cardio-respiratory synchronisation. A music for wellbeing study.

Friday May 21th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

This thinktank presents the results of a multidisciplinary workshop on the question whether listening to appropriate music is a good idea when you want to relax or sleep. The disciplines involved are musicology, experimental physiology, and technical biophysics. The workshop took place at Universidad del Cauca, a university in Colombia with a limited budget. An iPod was used for measuring in parallel: small involuntary body movements, the heartbeat and the respiration, involving the standard six inertia and gyroscopic sensors. 24 subjects were invited to relax during 90 minutes with or without relaxing classical music, 12 in each group. Circulant Singular Spectrum Analysis CiSSA, a new linear algebra method, enabled us to separate the movement, breathing and heartbeats signals adequately. Visualisation with the Hilbert transform of the heartbeat-respiration combination helped to understand the degree of synchronisation. An additional experiment gave an insight how the heartbeat is entrained by the respiration at harmonic relations during a respiration sweep. It looks like the inhale and the exhale control their own set of heartbeats. The provisional conclusions of the experiments are that subjects without music reach faster a quiet state and subjects with music make more involuntary movements, may breathe differently in different pieces of music - which could be shown by colour coding the different forms of breathing - and said more often that they were sleeping during some part of the experiment. But we do not promote music for sleeping without caveats as all signs point in the direction that your brain keeps working on the music even when you think you are sleeping.

Kelsey Onderdijk & Dana Swarbrick (RITMO) | Livestream experiments: the role of COVID-19, agency, presence, and social context in facilitating social connectedness.

Friday April 23th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

Kelsey Onderdijk (IPEM) and Dana Swarbrick (RITMO) will present their paper on three livestream concert experiments that were executed last summer. The main focus of these experiments was to explore how feelings of social connectedness can be fostered in virtual environments (i.e. livestreamed concerts), and to investigate how attending a virtual concert interacted with ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., loneliness, anxiety). Three main concepts were under investigation: agency, presence, and social context, that each required a different setup. Results provided insights into the role of parasocial interactions, music as social surrogacy, and concepts best suited to facilitate social connectedness and alleviate loneliness.

Emma Hallingham | Effects of attentional focus on motor skill performance in violin bowing

Friday March 18th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

In many ways, the study of performance psychology is more advanced in the sports’ domain than in music. One such example is understanding how the object of a performer’s focus of attention affects their motor control. Derived from evidence in sports contexts, and based on the principles of common-coding theory, the Constrained Action Hypothesis (CAH) asserts that adopting an external focus of attention (on the external goal) compared to an internal focus (on body movement) benefits motor skill performance (Wulf, 2013). Put simply, this hypothesis describes a commonly experienced phenomenon, where automatized motor skills become more difficult to execute when the performer thinks too much about how it should be done. This effect, sometimes known as “paralysis by analysis” is widely replicated in sports’ contexts, but only limited evidence exists for the effect in music performance. In this talk, I will present two experimental studies investigating how focus of attention may affect motor skill performance in violin bowing. We aimed to test the CAH in two violin-bowing tasks, and to further test a novel “somatic” focus (proximal external) on tactile sensory feedback through the bow. Measuring performance parameters at the physiological (electromyography), physical (motion capture), and acoustical (music information retrieval) levels, we observed improvements to motor performance under the somatic (tactile feedback) focus compared to the internal (arm movement) focus, but no improvements under the distal external (sound) focus. Some, but not all effects were moderated by expertise. Results partly support the CAH, but further suggest that attention to tactile sensations may act as a superior external focus in the contexts of these particular technical bowing tasks. I will discuss implications for teaching, performance practice, and motor performance theory.

Emma Allingham is a PhD researcher in the ERC-project SloMo, led by Prof. Dr. Clemens Wöllner at the University of Hamburg. She holds a Bachelor of Music with honours in classical violin performance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and a Master’s in Music, Mind, and Technology from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Emma also has several years’ experience working as a freelance violinist and violin teacher.

Meeting the researchers: IPEM, MAXlab and CREATIE

Friday March 12th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

MAXlab, a research group at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, focuses on the interaction between art and digital technology, examining how digital techniques can expand the toolbox of the artist and confirming the artist in the role of observer who reflects through the art practice on the rapidly evolving technology and the social transformation that goes with it.

CREATIE, a research group at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, hosts a group of performing, interdisciplinary researchers, and encourages them to create outside the known boundaries of their discipline, using multi-media and digital tools, with a specific focus on accessibility and inclusion.
Both research groups collaborate on their mutual and ongoing research around (hybrid) digital events, with specific focus on an autonomous digital experience and dynamic interaction.

During this session, chairs Kristof Timmerman (MAXlab) and Ine Vanoeveren (CREATIE) will present the research projects of their groups, with the goal of connecting researchers from both IPEM and the Schools of Arts Antwerp.

Kristof Timmerman is chairman and coordinator of MAXlab, the research group on the interaction between art and digital technology of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. As a promoter and researcher, he is involved in various research projects on virtual and augmented reality, often in a multidisciplinary context. He is affiliated with the Immersive Lab of the AP University of Applied Sciences and Arts and annually organizes the summer school 'Storytelling in Virtual Reality. An Immersive Encounter'.
Timmerman studied Product Development, Theater Science and Film and Video Art. He worked for several theater companies, including the experimental company CREW and founded the artist collective Studio POC, which produces digital art projects.
Belgian flutist and Doctor of Musical Arts, Ine Vanoeveren, is specialized in the music of Brian Ferneyhough. She obtained a DMA in Contemporary Music Performance in the class of Prof. John Fonville, at the University of California, San Diego. Ine won awards at the Action Classics Competition, Benelux Fluitconcours and was rewarded with a Belgian American Educational Foundation grant in 2013 and the Kranichsteiner Stipendienpreise for Interpretation by the Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt in 2016.
She is currently teaching contemporary flute at the Conservatoire Royal de Liège, chair of CREATIE and professor for Creative Project and interdisciplinary work at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. Ine is a welcome guest speaker at international conferences and universities. In 2018, she published her first book, Tomorrow’s Music in Practice Today.

Bavo van Kerrebroeck | A Methodological Framework for Assessing Social Presence in Music Interactions in Virtual Reality

Friday March 5th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

In this talk, we introduce a methodological framework to operationalize social presence by a combination of factors across interrelated layers, relating to the performance output, embodied co-regulation, and subjective experiences. This framework provides the basis for a pragmatic approach to determine the level of social presence in virtual musical interactions, by comparing the outcomes across the multiple layers with the outcomes of corresponding real-life musical interactions. We applied and tested this pragmatic approach via a case study of piano duet performances of the piece Piano Phase composed by Steve Reich. This study indicated that a piano duet performed in VR, in which the real-time interaction between pianists is mediated by embodied avatars, can lead to a strong feeling of social presence, as reflected in the measures of performance output, embodied co-regulation and subjective experience. In contrast, although a piano duet in VR between an actual pianist and a computer-controlled agent led to a relatively successful performance output, it was inadequate both in terms of embodied co-regulation and subjective experience.

Andréia Vieira Abdelnur Camargo and Adriaan Campo | A descriptive study about self-entrainment and cross-modality between dance and music through examples of Brazilian Traditional Dances

Friday February 26th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

The present study is one of the results of the scholar internship in IPEM, during 2020-2021, with a grant from CAPES- Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel, in Brazil. In this think-tank presentation, I will focus on the second part of the research, which is still ongoing and will be carried on after my return to Brazil. The Brazilian popular traditional culture gathers various manifestations in which dance and music are intertwisted. Since childhood, popular artists in Brazil learn how to sing, play, and move their bodies simultaneously, throughout a cross-modal process of coupling dance and music. Furthermore, the popular performers usually dance, sing, clap, or play instruments in such a way they need to balance their intra-individual energy in order to coordinate different skills. More than an aesthetic feature, these modes of operation announce an ecological perspective in which distinct domains have been building an integrated repertoire of steps, movements, rhythms, and songs. The present study consists of 1-recording five different Brazilian dances along with simultaneously played songs and percussion, through the motion capture technology synchronized with audio capture; 2-analyzing how the performer synchronizes the dance steps with singing and playing percussion instruments. Based on the analyses of the recordings, we aim to carry out a description of the selected dances, considering the behavior of the performer in the task of synchronizing sound and movement in each dance, highlighting the intra-individual entrainment and the inter-limb coordination (Clayton, 2005). We expect that this study could contribute to further investigations on cross-modality between dance and music as well as on self-entrainment discussions either in Dance or Musicology fields.

Thomas Moors | An arts based approach to enhancing quality of life after laryngectomy

Friday February 26th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

Laryngectomy is the surgical removal of the voice box, usually performed in patients with highly developed stages of throat cancer. The psychosocial impact of losing the voice is significant, affecting a person's professional and social life in a devastating way. It should be no surprise that patients often fall prey to social isolation and depression. We developed workshops using a variety of voice exercises that are fun and interactive to improve speech recovery, in combination with writing exercises (Spoken Word) and group conversations to help communicate, share and discuss lived challenges and people’s psychological well-being after laryngectomy. Our group of participants shared a plethora of interesting topics and valuable insights into how their condition has affected their psychosocial life. The discourse also involves challenges faced by negative perceptions in the wider society, primarily based on the lack of understanding and lack of education about laryngectomy and laryngectomees. During the first part of the presentation a creative praxis of qualitative research enquiry will be shared in the translation of our workshops into a narrative of testimonials and poetry that explain the landscape of life after laryngectomy. In doing so, we aspire to engage with a broader audience. Through this creative outlet, our research participants become the performative protagonists that recite their own shared stories in musical synergy with professional artists.
The second part will be an outline of how this project could be translated into a PhD, followed by an open discussion.

Thomas Moors is a Belgian medical doctor (UGent), based in London, with a special interest in voice and the integration of art into healthcare. He has built up substantial professional networks internationally across research, medicine, healthcare and the arts. In 2015 he founded Shout at Cancer, the only charity in the world specialising in speech recovery and social reintegration after laryngectomy, the surgical removal of the voice box. He received the Points of Light Award from the British Prime Minister in 2017 for his charitable work and achievements. Shout at Cancer was nominated for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service 2021 (equivalent to The Order of Leopold II (BE)). His mission is to bring positive attention towards small and scattered groups of individuals affected by less common health issues, who are therefore overlooked in research and our society.

Nadav Katan | Towards Principles of Embodied Musical Gestalt

Friday February 12th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

Informed Phrasingis an artistic, doctoral research project that explores the analysis-practice relationship as an artistic mode of interaction. Central in my approach to the analysis-practice relationship is designing the analytical orientation according to fundamental objectives of musical performance. Thus, instead of 'importing' to performance a set of pre-established analytical conceptions (that, in many cases, were formulated based on musical symbols, rather than on actual sounds), I advocate a 'performatively informed' analytical approach in which the performer collects analytical components that specifically address her/his performative objectives and transforms these to operate in a performative-interactive process and setting (at the instrument and through performance).

Within this framework, conceiving of 'phrasing' as "...the joining of notes into phrases and the separation of these phrases from each other" (Rothstein, 1989) naturally leads to the consideration of Temporal Gestalt Psychology. However, the fundamental Gestalt grouping principles are formulated as rules of disembodied perceptual organization, and from the listener's perspective. Yet, drawing on IPEM publications, as well as on my personal experimentations, the performer's perceptual organization is significantly conditioned by the physical mechanisms that are entailed in the act of sound production. Accordingly, bringing the Gestalt grouping principle up-to-date, in this respect, is a crucial objective of my research project.

In this presentation I will briefly present my research project and share my intuitions towards a set of principles of 'embodied musical Gestalten' and call for interdisciplinary collaborations, aspiring to transform these intuitions into knowledge.

Nadav Katan is an Israeli pianist and artistic researcher.

Nadav has completed his Bachelor's degree in piano performance at the Buchman-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv University in 2015, in the class of Prof. Asaf Zohar, and his Master's degree in piano performance at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam in 2017, in the class of Prof. Naum Grubert and Prof. Jan Wijn.

Currently, Nadav is an artistic researcher at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, conducting an artistic Ph.D. on the 'analysis-practice relationship' in collaboration with Antwerp University, the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Orpheus Institute in Ghent, and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Henk Jacobs | Ik hoor u graag

Friday January 15th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

‘Ik hoor u graag’ is the title of my PhD trajectory and it is about product binding that we have with some pieces of music.
My name is Henk Jacobs, I was born in 1953 and just started a PhD program. I am an industrial engineer by profession and as such have worked in various positions at various companies. But my whole life I have been into music. Not only have I played the saxophone for many years, but I am driven by the question: ‘I wanted to learn at all costs what a favourite piece of music was 'in itself', by what essential feature it was to be distinguished from the community of pieces. Has it a ‘genius of its own’ or not? To deepen my knowledge of this issue, I started studying Musicology at Utrecht University. After the bachelor, the study continued at the University of Amsterdam. The master in cognitive musicology was completed a few months ago. By now I have found something of the beginning of an answer to my question, but there is still a long way to go. A path as a PhD trajectory.
The subject of the PhD is the product binding that we have with some pieces of music. They are the favourites you love to hear. Product binding is a marketing term and concerns the affective relationship we have with some products. Affect is not the same as either emotions or desires. Affect is closely tied to what we often describe as the feeling of life. Some things, such as music, inflect affect and gives colour to our experiences. With these things we have affective relations. They give you a ‘feelgood feeling’, you feel at ease, they provide psychological comfort, they bring a sense of satisfaction. What I have found so far is that the ‘feelgood feeling’ someone has with a piece of music is mainly determined by experiencing one or more 'musical moments'. The only description I could find of the musical moment is: “If our brain flits over any part of the music, we are captured by it, and must play it forth to a point of rest. So we constantly have a sense of being gripped, even unwillingly, by the tune. This is The Musical Moment”, said Elizabeth Margulis.
The importance of the musical moment for product binding is mainly based on considerations. My exploratory master's research supports these considerations. To my knowledge, a large-scale investigation has never taken place. This brings us to the first study, an online survey to the importance of the Musical Moment. The second study is a laboratory study in which the affective and emotion response over time is measured to self chosen favourite music. These data are evaluated (Kano model, marketing) with the test subjects to gain insight into their preferred musical qualities (auditory schemata). The third study, entitled affective evaluation, focuses on the interaction between cold and hot cognition (analogous to Broekx's Muziek. Ratio en Affect) at the lowest level of consciousness.
But first, I will be doing a literature study in the coming year. Because I am at the beginning of a process, I do not yet have detailed plans of action. I would like to share my ideas and am open to all critical questions, comments, and suggestions that I can take advantage of.

Lousin Moumdjian & Mattia Rosso | The continued story line of auditory-motor coupling in neurological rehabilitation of multiple sclerosis and beyond.

Friday January 29th at 13.30, online IPEM UGent

The use of auditory stimuli, such as music or metronomes have properties that are beneficial for neurological rehabilitation purposes. In our previous work, specific to the use of auditory stimuli during walking, we hypothesised that the resulting interaction of the so-called auditory-motor coupling termed entrainment influences a person’s abilities for walking, and the results were presented in the form of my PhD.
Naturally, the story did not end there, as solving certain questions resulted in asking many many others. To tackle those questions that intrigued me the most, a few experiments were designed. During this think tank, I aim to shed a light on these different experiments that I am working on together with the core team of Mattia, Bart and Edith, to answer the underlying objectives per experiment.
This introduction will follow by zooming in on one of the two methodological solutions that we have developed in order to realise the studies mentioned above. That is the use of EEG, to compute a component of a neural outcome measure of auditory-motor coupling(/entrainment), which would optimally be complement its behavioural counterparts. For the former, Mattia will further zoom into the computational of this component in the context of a validity study we are now engaged in using his database. This outcome is the key link of combining the behavioural approach I undertake with neurophysiological approaches.
On a side note, the second methodological salutation was to integration of the EEG and the D-jogger, however, this part is out of the scope of the current think.

Lousin Moumdjian & Marc Leman | Embodied learning in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis using melodic, sound and visual real-time feedback: a clinical and a predictive viewpoint.

Friday February 19th at 14.00, online IPEM UGent

Given the prevalence of motor and cognitive functions in persons with multiple sclerosis and that these functions can be either maintained or improved, we proposed that the theoretical framework of embodied theory could bridge the niche in current rehabilitation of these symptoms. Consequently, we developed an environment – the augmented movement platform for embodied learning (AMPEL) - in order to apply an experimental paradigm, to test our notion of embodiment in the context of rehabilitation in PwMS. We thereby aimed to investigate embodied learning on AMPEL, with a task consisting of learning a cognitive sequence while performing it through bodily movement under three feedback conditions compared to healthy controls. Within the context of embodied learning, we also aimed to investigate if balance and information processing speed are factors which effected the motor and cognitive performances. We hypothesised, that will find a superior cognitive performance in healthy controls as compared to PwMS, given the prevalence of the cognitive and motor impairments in the MS population. Nevertheless, we also assumed that PwMS would be able to learn the cognitive sequence within this embodied task, firstly because of their intactencoding and storage capacity, and secondly due to the embodied context, as a result of the bidirectional complementary interaction of the motor and cognitive systems. Furthermore, we explored if learning can be predicted during the learning process in our participants, given factors such as their age, balance and information processing speed.