Trumpet augmentation and future musicianship – Joseph Thibodeau

Date: Tuesday 28 April, 7pm
Location: Music Hackspace

Eventbrite - Trumpet augmentation and future musicianship - Joseph Thibodeau

Augmented trumpets are acoustic trumpets on which transducers have been mounted in order to provide extra sonic control variables. At present only a few augmented trumpets are known to be in active use, yet there is an obvious interest in the subject judging by the regularity of new projects appearing in the literature since the first publication in 1989.

In order to fully explore the musical potential of this technology, it must be adopted by a larger population of performers. The problem is that takes a great deal of technical expertise to create, maintain, modify, and upgrade a sophisticated custom instrument. This is an insurmountable hurdle to those who might otherwise be interested in making music with an augmented trumpet. How can the technical requirements of such projects be reduced to promote widespread experimentation?

Starting with a review of existing projects, this presentation demonstrates that while each augmented trumpet must fit to custom artistic needs, there are commonalities that could be incorporated into a standardized design approach.

The proposed solution is to use an open and modular paradigm, making it easier to build instruments and share design ideas, and to pursue embedded synthesis, allowing for standalone instruments with plug-and-play behaviour.

Audio examples will accompany the presentation, and an open discussion on new musical instrument design will follow.

Joseph Thibodeau is a musician and researcher associated with McGill University’s Music Technology area and Concordia University’s Penhune Laboratory for Motor Learning and Neural Plasticity. His work centres mainly around new digital musical instruments, specifically augmented trumpets, which he uses in live performance and in studio production. His research is published in Computer Music Journal, and in 2014 he was commissioned to compose augmented trumpet music for a Radio-Canada documentary, “Correspondences de Guerre”.

Together with fellow researcher Jason Hockman (Birmingham City University), Joseph produces music under the alias DAAT and runs the Detuned Transmissions record label. In 2014, DAAT’s full-length album HVAC received overwhelming support from a variety of international DJs, airplay on some of the United Kingdom’s largest broadcasting services (e.g., BBC, Rinse FM), and accolades from major popular publications such as Mixmag Magazine.