Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Diffusion Evolved: New Musical Interfaces Applied to Diffusion Performance

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Version 2 2023-09-21, 02:43
Version 1 2022-03-03, 03:09
posted on 2023-09-21, 02:43 authored by Johnson, Bridget Dougherty

This exegesis takes a critical look at the performance paradigm of sound diffusion. In making a shift away from the sixty-year-old practice of performing on a mixing desk or other fader bank console, it proposes and outlines a goal towards intuitive and transparent relationships between performance gesture and spatial trajectories. This is achieved by a coupling of the two previously segmented fields within electroacoustic: spatialisation and interface design. This research explains how connections between the two fields and an embracing of contemporary technological developments, with a goal toward increasing the liveness and gestural input that currently limit sound diffusion practice, could extend the art form into a virtuosic and compelling gestural performance art. The exegesis introduces and describes the author’s research and development of tactile space, a new multitouch tool developed on the Bricktable for live sound diffusion. is intended as a contribution to the growing research area of user interfaces developed specifically for the performance of sound in space. It affords performers a new level of gestural interaction with the space of the concert hall and the audience members and redefines multiple standardised interactions between the performer and the space, the gesture, the audience, and the sound in a diffusion concert.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains All Rights

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Music

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

190499 Performing Arts and Creative Writing not elsewhere classified

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

New Zealand School of Music


Kapur, Ajay; McKinnon, Dugal