Enrike Hurtado

My name is Enrike Hurtado, I work together with Thor Magnusson in the ixi project. Thor send me your email with the questionarie. We found it quite personal and decided to replay individualy.

The ixi project started as a final project for the Design for Intereactive Media MA at Middlesex University, London. From very early musicians were involved in the project giving us feedback about the ideas we were developing.

We had such a good response from different people that we had continued developing the prototypes and creating new ones.

Both of us come from different backgrounds including Fine Art, Philisophy, Design, and of course music. We both work together sharing ideas and scripts but each of us develop different prototypes. Now we are trying to create a network of musicians, programers, etc... to collaborate and exchange ideas in order to push a bit further music and musical software.

Please find attached spindrum, the latest prototypes I have been working in. It consists on a exploration into rhythm software. I am investigating non conventional ways to secuence rhythms as well as producing an interface which visually explains the underlying process.

How do you define "soundtoys" ?

Any kind of interactive system that allows the user for an enjoyable and engaging interactive experience with sound and visuals. The point is where the sound toy becomes an application in itself, capable of a wide range of possibilities. Usually professional applications are difficult to use and very dry. Highly dynamic interfaces would allow to combine both complexity and enjoyment.

On a personal level, why do you make this work?
I love developing new ideas and concepts

What is you project and your work about?

It&Mac226;s about finding new ways to interact with sound in computers. About creating digital instruments that visually explain the processes behind. Avoiding traditional computer metaphors such as the score, or the timeline. Exploring new processes. Creating new interfaces. We developed our software with the aim to be downloaded and installed on the user&Mac226;s computer, but we?ve got online versions for users to have a first taste of the ideas we are working with. (with cut down in fuctionality because of shockwave security issues). We are also experimenting with the use of non conventional interfaces and devices such as touch screens, game pads or PDAs.

How long have you been working in this area?
1 year but I have also worked on other stuff non related to sound

Were you an artist/ musician first who got into using computers/the net, or did you respond to the net as a medium in an artistic way?
I was related to art when I got into using computers.

What/ who has influenced you in your work? (themes, other artists etc)
To see experimental musicians playing live improvisations. the processes they use to produce their music are very interesting. Some of them construct their own instruments. Also sound programs such as Pure Data, Supercollider, Max or Audiomulch. They have an interesting aproach to sound and music.

Are there any other artists covering the same field as you?
Yes but I am afraid that so far there is a big gap in between the "musician" and the "designer" approach. Musicians develop highly complex tools (such as Max, Reaktor, Logic...) and designers develop engaging but simple "gadgets". We should find a way in between.

Do you see this work as art?
It depends on what do you understand by "art". I come from a fine art background and I usually work with a extremely specific conception of art. But if you take a broader conception of art it is different. If you consider that architecture is art then we are definitely doing art.

With regard to 'soundtoys' especially, why do you think the audio visual form is so key to the net?

Audio visual interaction is an extremely powerful medium. For example, audio is crucial in film, advertising, etc.... The problem is that we do not have the proper tools. Director is a very powerful tool in terms of interaction, but its extremely limited in manipulating sound. The fact that still we have to work with 8 sound channels it is annoying. Macromedia should develop proper sound capability in Director. If we could combine the sound power of programs like Audiomulch with the interaction power of Director this would be the biggest revolution in music since MIDI. If Macromedia doesn&Mac226;t do itsomebody will do it. I am absolutely sure that this is gonna happen within next 5 years.

What defines the aesthetics of new interactive art.?
plasticity, dispersion, recycling ...

How important is the visual aspect in the 'new' relationship ofthe audio visual.?
For me both visuals and audio have to work together to the same goal. Both are equally important. For example, electronic music usually lacks of the visual aspects of the performance. In pop music you can see the musicians playing the instruments. A visual interface will enable the audience to visualize the processes the musician is dealing with, this would decrease the gap between the musician and the audience.

Does the net promote visual awareness that is unique to it?
in this area it is. Because it allows anybody to use some musical tool I have produced from anywhere.

How novel do you feel generative music and interactivity is?
I think that it has been there always, its just that now because of computers I has become accesible and easy to explore and produce. Also people is starting to get used to this ideas.

Do you think there is a history to audio visual work?
i do not think we are doing something absolutely new, art has been dealing with audio visuals since the beginning of the culture. There is always someone before you who has work with similar concepts.

Would you describe yourself as a multimedia artist, a net.artist, programmer, or none of the above?
software developer ? software architect? programmer ? digital luthier?

What software do you use most and why?
Director. Its a powerful tool for quick prototyping.

Enrike Hurtado ::
dim@f2s.com ::
www.202.f2s.com ::

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