Evolving the drum-kit : frameworks and methods for diachronic live electronic performance practice and bespoke instrument design
Michalakos, Christos Georgios
This thesis examines performance practice with the Augmented Drum-Kit, a personal evolution of the acoustic drum-kit with the use of digital technology. The practice is investigated from three perspectives: First, through possible spatial and contextual definitions of the instrument under development, taking into consideration the inherently open-ended nature of its building blocks: percussion and the computer. Second, by exploring the composer/performer/builder’s practice paradigm in terms of musical and performative goals with such an emerging performance environment. Finally, as a diachronic practice between performer and all constituent technological parts of the composite instrument, towards the practice’s ongoing development and evolution. Using these discussions as starting points, this practice-led research proposes three intertwined novel frameworks for diachronic live electronic performance practice and bespoke instrument design. Additionally, the developed instrument itself is detailed in the form of the devised design methods, schematics, diagrams and software, addressing questions such as intuitive control, gestural uniformity, consistent electro-acoustic vocabulary, distinct instrumental character, mobility, sound diffusion and transferability. Finally, music portfolio consisting of five solo and group album recordings with the Augmented Drum-Kit is presented, while audiovisual examples from various scenarios and development stages are used to further illustrate the discussion.