The Expression Synthesis Project (ESP) explores the use of a driving interface for expression synthesis, also known as performance rendering. ESP aims to provide a compelling metaphor for expressive performance so as to make high-level expressive decisions accessible to non-experts.
In ESP, the user drives a car on a virtual road that represents the music with its twists and turns; and makes decisions on how to traverse each part of the road. The driver's decisions affect in real-time the rendering of the piece. The pedals and wheel provide a tactile interface for controlling the car dynamics and musical expression, while the display portrays a first person view of the road and dashboard from the driver's seat.
This game-like interface allows non-experts to create expressive renderings of existing music without having to master an instrument, and allows expert musicians to experiment with expressive choice without having to first master the notes of the piece. The prototype system has been tested and refined in numerous demonstrations.
ESP was designed using Alexandre François' Software Architecture for Immersipresence, a general formalism for the design, analysis and implementation of complex and interactive software systems.
Photos (left): USC 125, October 6-8, 2005.
Photos by E. Chew.