After its successful premiere at this year’s Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, Federico Visi (electric guitar, motion sensors, live electronics) and Katherine Williams (saxophone, motion sensors, live electronics) are performing Visi’s composition,11 degrees of dependence, this week at The International Festival for Innovations in Music Production and Composition (iFIMPaC) organised by Leeds College of Music.



11 degrees of dependence is a piece for saxophone, electric guitar, motion sensors, and live electronics. The piece explores the relationship between the performers and their instruments, focusing on the constraints that instrumental practice imposes on body movement. The sensors capture movement and muscular activity data in real time and a machine learning algorithm compares it with gestures previously recorded by the performers. This way, live electronics are controlled through the body movements of the musicians in a way that blends with their playing style.

The piece is inspired by the studies of musical gestures and embodied music cognition and embraces the assumption that music is a multimodal medium. This implies that instrumental movements are not seen merely as a means to produce a certain sound, but rather as an expressive medium, working in conjunction to the aural features of the music. Movement is therefore an integral part of the score. This increases the awareness of the musicians’ kinespheres (that is the portion of space the body is moving within and how the person pays attention and relates to it) and creates new challenges as well as new possibilities of expression and interplay.


Federico Visi is a doctoral researcher at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR) at Plymouth University where his research focuses on body movement in performances with traditional musical instruments.

Katherine Williams is a musicologist and saxophonist who lectures in music at Plymouth University. Her research interests include jazz, popular music, music and gender, music and geography, and digital cultures.


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