Academic Commons

Theses Doctoral

Building Mobile Instruments for Improvised Musical Performance

Holzborn, Damon Russell

This paper explores an approach to building electronic musical instruments for use in improvised music that I have found to be particularly effective for developing flexible, dynamic, and versatile instruments well adapted to the improvised context, and a resultant set of suites of solo improvised character pieces. The lessons learned from this research can be useful beyond the scope of this particular instrument design philosophy. In Part I, I present the foundations of my approach to instrument design, based on my past experience and the technological environment in which electronic music has developed. I discuss the values that guide me in the creation of instruments for use in improvised performance, and describe the development tools iRTcmix and Nikl, and Dixey, an instrument I have created with those tools and hardware devices using the Apple iOS operating system. Part II discusses the musical issues related to the creation of Character Weekend, a set of solo recordings produced with the tools described in Part I.


  • thumnail for Holzborn_columbia_0054D_11650.pdf Holzborn_columbia_0054D_11650.pdf application/pdf 2.7 MB Download File

More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Lewis, George E.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 16, 2013
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.