NIME 2020 – ScreenPlay: A Topic-Theory-Inspired Interactive System

Just over a year ago I was scheduled to demonstrate my research at NIME 2019, which took place at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Porto Alegre, Brazil. My journey there comprised three flights (Manchester to Paris, Paris to Rio de Janeiro, and, finally, Rio de Janeiro to Porto Alegre), with a total time of approximately 18 hours. Unfortunately, immediately prior to boarding my flight to Paris, I received a text from the airline telling me that my flight from Paris to Rio de Janeiro had been cancelled. Assuming the provision of a suitable alternative means of continuing my journey, I decided to fly to Paris anyway. Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport, however, I was informed that, in order to complete my journey, I would be required to fly to Lima in Peru the next morning before catching a connecting flight to Porto Alegre; a change that added an addition 12 hours to my total journey time and would see me miss the first day of the conference. Accordingly, I instead decided to return to Manchester the next day, a decision which meant I would miss the conference.

Thankfully, I was able to showcase my research later that summer at Audio Mostly at the University of Nottingham and was again invited to demonstrate my research at NIME 2020, which was scheduled to take place at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, however, it looked like my attempts to attend NIME would again be thwarted. The response from the conference organisers, however, was amazing and, in the face of adversity, they ran the conference remotely with great success. I was required to provide a real time demonstration of my research via Zoom, but also produce a demonstration video, which can be seen below. Despite less than ideal circumstances, my experience at NIME was great and I hope to attend again in the future.


I recently discovered that, while it is possible to map the Max for Live LFO device to Ableton Live’s global tempo, doing so results in no audile change to the tempo despite the number changing visually. As such, I made gtm.tempoctrl, which affords a variety of ways in which to automate global tempo transitions in Ableton Live.

The device can be downloaded here.