An Interactive Surface Realisation of Henri Pousseur's `Scambi'

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


SMC Conference 2011 (2011)


This paper discusses the design and implementation of an interactive touch surface exhibit which re-appropriates a historic electroacoustc work for the digital age. The electroacoustic work in question is Henri Pousseur's seminal `Scambi' composition, originally created in 1957 at the RAI Studios, Milan. The status of Scambi as a key example of an electroacoustic `open' form makes it ideal for re-appropriation as an interactive public exhibit, while an existing musicological analysis of Pousseur's compositional instructions for Scambi provide insight for the user interface design and translation of written textual composition process into interactive software. The project is on-going, and this paper presents our current work-in progress. We address the musicological, practical and aesthetic implications of this work, discuss informal observation of users engaging with our tabletop system, and comment on the nature of touchscreen interfaces for musical interaction. This work is therefore relevant to the electroacoustic community, fields of human computer interaction, and researchers developing new interfaces for musical expression. This work contributes to the European Commission funded DREAM project.


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