Exploring a design space by prototyping a gesture-controlled augmentation of an operatic lead part
Opponent: Robin Åkerström
This thesis describes a design process where a prototype of an artifact for
gesturally controlled signal processing of an operatic voice was constructed.
The artifact was to be used in an opera that was being written at the time of
the thesis work, specifically by the lead part, portraying the historical character
Joseph Merrick, more commonly known as the Elephant Man.
The goal of the thesis work was to get to proof of concept where the core
functionality of the artifact was sufficiently explored, so as to be certain that
it would support the artistic process of both composing and performing the
The work was done together with the composer of the opera, Carl Unander-
Scharin and through use of the design methodology of participatory design, he
became an involved participant in the design process.
Several prototypes were constructed and evaluated. The main tools used for
construction were the Arduino micro controller, sensors, and the SuperCollider
One concert test was performed in the middle of the design process, and
the last prototype was tested both by the composer himself, and by the singer
that was to play the roll of Merrick in the opera.