Audience Participation is Focus of Freeman\'s Music Technology Research

Music Technology Professor Jason Freeman is exploring new ways for audiences to interact with performers. His research includes both live audience participation and online applications

One recent example of Freeman's work is a performance called Flock.

"It is kind of a cross between a game, a dance, a club and a concert," said Freeman. "Everyone was moving around. Sometimes people were ballroom dancing, other times people were dancing in conga lines, and other times people were moving in much more chaotic ways."

The musicians' notes were generated in real-time by computers that were using cameras mounted on the ceiling to track the location of the audience members.

Freeman says he's interested in engaging audiences that might not usually interact with the composing process or even attend a live performance.

One of Freeman's recent online applications is called Graph Theory, a solo violin piece. People are able to visit a Web site and reorder fragments of the piece. The decisions are then collected to create a new piece that is then performed in a live concert.

Freeman says his future research will include how mobile devices can allow people to interact with each other and interact with the space around them in new kinds of ways.

"So little of how we experience music these days is in a live performance," said Freeman. "So it is important to me to infiltrate the ways we do experience music and reflect upon those through my work and through my research."

The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the world's premier research universities. Ranked seventh among U.S. News & World Report's top public universities and the eighth best engineering and information technology university in the world by Shanghai Jiao Tong University's Academic Ranking of World Universities, Georgia Tech’s more than 20,000 students are enrolled in its Colleges of Architecture, Computing, Engineering, Liberal Arts, Management and Sciences. Tech is among the nation's top producers of women and minority engineers. The Institute offers research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary units plus the Georgia Tech Research Institute.