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Theses

Ecriture sonore : entre déterminisme, émergence et interactivité

Abstract : The author of this thesis has worked as music composer on numerous sound walk art installations. During the last decade, this work has been influenced by the design methods used in video games, leading to interactive sound walk pieces. In the design process of such pieces, as compared with interactive music works, the composer must write her/his sound design in a real or a virtual space according to the listener’s promenade. A way to drive this walk is to let the listener interact with the System through Non Player Characters (NPC). Such an installation shows the evolution of the composer’s role from that of a deterministic creation to a non-deterministic one. For a given piece, the creator leaves to the interactor a certain amount of freedom and to the system, according its level of self-sufficiency, a certain amount of autonomy. According to these two parameters, each art piece can be positioned somewhere within a triangle D.I.S. which vertices are the Designer, the Interactor and the System. The main goal of this thesis is to analyze the goals and the needs of the designer of such interactive pieces, in terms of methodology and tools. We begin this work by a state of the art covering various fields, from interactive art to intelligent agents. The third chapter is devoted to the analysis of interactive pieces designed by musicians, plastic artists, game designers. From this analysis we propose a set of classification criteria and we place these art works in the DIS triangle. The fourth chapter raises the problematic of our research. We assume that the choice of a position in this triangle is directly related to a choice between two writing styles, the “scripting style” and the “emergent style”. In the scripting style, the designer takes the point of view of the interactor who becomes the narrator. In the emergent style, the designer takes the point of view of the NPC. The two styles are first compared according to the criteria presented in the previous chapter.For a deeper analysis of the two styles, we have designed, with the help of a development team, two versions of the same interactive sound installation The Listening Walker. The installation was created in Paris during the “Futur en Seine” Festival in June 2013 and shown as an art installation for ICEC 2013 in Sao paulo.The goal of this sound walk is to discover a virtual district of Paris around the Pantheon. This installation is designed as a video game with different levels of exploration. The player’s reward is the discovery of the city mainly via sound. Success depends on his listening behavior: NPC are moving around him, interpreting his moves, the direction he takes and the time spent listening particular sounds. Depending upon the listener’s attitude, each NPC has his own reaction such as running away, getting closer to the listener, ignoring him or helping him to discover secret areas. In the fifth chapter, we present the whole creation and development process of the two versions of the installation. It starts with the constraints and artistic choices. The informal specifications of the two versions are presented and the methods and programming methodologies used described. In both cases, the lack of efficient tools for non programmers is pointed out. This experiment shows also the great complexity of the emergent style compared to the scripting style: it is much more difficult to specify a world than to write a story, even an interactive one.In the conclusion, we corroborate our analysis with the point of view of creators working in different fields from interactive music to game design. Some possible extensions of this work are then presented.
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Cécile Le Prado. Ecriture sonore : entre déterminisme, émergence et interactivité. Son [cs.SD]. Conservatoire national des arts et metiers - CNAM, 2013. Français. ⟨NNT : 2013CNAM0913⟩. ⟨tel-01124381⟩

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