From Atmosphere to Intervention: The circular dynamic of installations in hospital waiting areas


This paper is a description of a pilot project conducted at the Hamburg University of Music and Drama (HfMT) during the academic year 2015-16. In this project we have addressed how interventions via interactive, generative music systems may contribute to the improvement of the atmosphere and thus to the well-being of patients in hospital waiting areas. The project was conducted by both the students of the music therapy and multimedia composition programs and has thus offered rare insights into the dynamic of such undertakings covering both the therapeutic underpinnings, as well as the technical means required to achieve a particular result. DJster, the engine we used for the generative processes is based on Clarence Barlow’s probabilistic algorithms. Equipped with the proper periphery (sensors, sound modules and spatializers), we looked at three different scenarios, each requiring specific musical and technological solutions. The pilot was concluded by a symposium in 2017 and the development of a prototype system. The symposium yielded a diagram detailing the circular dynamic of the factors involved in this particular project, while the prototype was demoed in 2016 at the HfMT facilities. The system will be installed permanently at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) in June 2017.

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