David Collier > Instrument Lab #1

I didn’t know what to expect when I applied to STEIM for the Instrument Lab. I was only beginning to get interested in physical interaction when I meet a former STEIM orientation workshop attendee, Ricky Graham, who suggested that I should visit STEIM. I was really curious about the philosophy behind the lab and wanted to know more about it.
I arrived at the lab expecting it to be a week of lecturers and assignments (as I’d come from university this was the type of environment I was expecting). I didn’t realise that I would be able to use the STEIM resources to work on my own project while I was there. So it came as a shock when I learned that my learning at STEIM would be heavily self directed, of course there were classes and workshops but I got the most benefit exploration of the resources available in the lab. The classes and workshops were also very interesting and it was very educational to learning from people who were actively developing instruments and new ways of engaging with music. Learning how an inventor of an electronic instrument had conceived and developed the project was an incredibly insightful experience.
Learning about the custom software that people had create to interact with electronic music in a more tangible way was really inspiring. How the finest details of motion could be mapped, with the greatest precision, to sound. And how the unpredictability of how an instrument could react to the performer could be more exciting than the most carefully planned interface.
One of the most amazing parts of the Instrument Lab was the people that I met at the course. There was a great mix of backgrounds and nationalities. They were a great group to be around for the week and I got a great deal from interacting with the other people taking the course.

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