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February 2010

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Research Spotlight - Axis 1 




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Distinguished Lecture Series


  • This talk will explore the science underlying the design of instruments of the violin family. If one sets out to re-invent an instrument roughly like the violin, it is interesting to see how far one can go with very simple design objectives such as an engineering designer would apply. As a starting point, the simple requirement to make the instrument as loud as possible gives insight into many details of the strings and body construction.  The talk will then address and illustrate some aspects of sound production in the violin, including the roles of the f-holes and soundpost, and the question “why doesn’t an ideal instrument amplify all frequencies equally, like a hi-fi amplifier?”
  • The talk will take place from 16.30 to 18.00 at McGill University (C-201, Strathcona Music Building, 555 Sherbrooke St West), followed by a reception.

Axis 1 - Sound modeling, acoustics and signal processing

March 11th, 2010 - COMSOL WORKSHOP

  • COMSOL Multiphysics is an engineering, design, and finite element analysis software environment for the modeling and simulation of any physics-based system. This workshop will provide an introduction on the use of COMSOL for solving acoustics problems.
  • The workshop will be delivered by Antoine Lefebvre, a PhD candidate at the Computational Acoustic Modeling Laboratory (CAML). Antoine has been using COMSOL extensively for the characterization of woodwind instrument finger holes, flaring bells and curved bores.
  • The workshop will take place at 9:30am at McGill University (A512, New Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke St West). This workshop is free and open to all. Interested participants should register here.

March 24th, 2010 - research Workshop on String Instruments: Acoustics and Perceived Quality

  • This workshop will provide a forum for a discussion on the relationship between the acoustic and physical properties of string music instruments and their quality as perceived by players and listeners. Attendance is encouraged for  members of both the scientific and music communities (including luthiers). It is organized in conjunction with the Distinguished Lecture of the preeminent acoustician James Woodhouse (which will take place on 25 March 2010). The workshop will also include an invited participant, Dr. Claudia Fritz, CNRS researcher from the Equipe Lutheries-Acoustique-Musique, Institut Jean le Rond d'Alembert, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, who specializes in the perception of string instruments. We plan to engage invited guests and the audience in several discussion sessions.
  • The workshop will take place from 9.00 - 17.00 at McGill University (A-832, New Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke St West). This workshop is free and open to all. Interested participants should register here.

Axis 2Musical gestures, devices and motion capture


  • Description TBA.
  • The workshop will take place from 14.00 - 17.00 at McGill University (C-201, Strathcona Music Building, 555 Sherbrooke St West). 

Axis 3 - Musical information archiving and retrieval

March 26th, 2010 - Research Workshop on structural analysis of music

  • Description TBA.
  • The workshop will take place from 13.00 - 17.00 at McGill University (A-832, New Music Building, 527 Sherbrooke St West), followed by a reception. Interested participants should register here.


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Distinguished Lecture Series

JANUARY 21ST, 2010 - Glenn Schelleberg

  • Glenn Schellenberg (University of Toronto) gave a talk entitled "Does music make you smarter?" on January 21st 2009, 4:30 - 6:00pm, in Clara Lichtenstein Recital Hall (C-209), Strathcona Music Building, Schulich School of Music.
  • Andy Milne and Benoît Delbecq gave a talk entitled "A multi-channel production in jazz: Sensorial and technical interaction between composing, playing, recording, mixing" on February 18th, 2010, 4:30-6:00pm, in Clara Lichtenstein Recital Hall (C-209), Strathcona Music Building, Schulich School of Music.

live@CIRMMT Performance Series

February 4th, 2010 - Sixtrum percussion ensemble: le scorpion

  • live@CIRMMT, Sixtrum and the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal presented le Scorpion, an original work written by Argentinian composer Martin Matalon for the movie "l'Age d'or" by Luis Buñuel.  This "cinema concert" took place at the Salle Claude-Champagne, Université de Montréal.

february 17th, 2010 - jazz piano duo with live electronics: andy milne and benoit delbecq

  • Andy Milne and Benoît Delbecq, two masters of contemporary improvisation, performed as a jazz duo with live electronics in Pollack Hall, McGill University.

Training Workshops

February 12th and february 16th, 2010 - sony ex-3 hd camera training

  • Part of a series on ongoing training workshops for CIRMMT members, this workshop addressed the proper care and operation of the Sony EX-3 HD cameras, tripods and storage media available in the CIRMMT loan pool.  

Axis 4Multimodal immersive systems

FEBRUARY 3rd, 2010 - seminar on haptic perception and device for nanotechnology

  • Guillaume Millet, a post-doctoral fellow and member of the Shared Reality Lab (SRE) and the Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM) at McGill University presented his work on new and unique methods of interaction at micro- and nanoscopic scales, where the limits of human perception are exceeded. The talk was divided into two part. First, Millet described his detailed analysis of human perception by means of user task-based experiments. In the second half, he dealt with the design of a high-fidelity haptic device for rendering nanoscale forces.

FEBRUARY 5th, 2010 - seminar on model-based human pose tracking

  • University of Toronto professor David Fleet was invited to give a talk on Model-based human pose tracking, as part of the Centre of Intelligent Machines’ seminar series on Brain, Body and Machine, celebrating the centre’s 25th anniversary. Fleet’s research applies kinematic data, physics-based constraints and mechanical considerations to solve the complex problem of human post estimation and tracking.


  • A one-day workshop was held on various topics related to spatial audio. The keynote talk "Music, Space and Recording: Spatial aspects of the Virtual Haydn project" was given by Martha de Francisco and Wieslaw Woszczyk. There were also several 15 minute talks by CIRMMT members. The day was closed with demos and a round table. 

Axis 5Music perception and cognition

JANUARY 22ND, 2010 - RESEARCH Workshop on how musical training changes cognitive function

  • This workshop was co-organized by CIRMMT Research Axis 5 (Music Perception and Cognition) and BRAMS. It consisted of a series of talks from senior researchers in the area, student presentations of up-and-coming work, and a panel discussion of conceptual and methodological issues specific to this domain.

FEBRUARY 11th, 2010 -  Music Perception and Cognition Student Colloquium Series

  • The first session of the 2010 series was held at BRAMS on February 11th, 4:30-6:00pm. Patrick Bermudez presented some of his work on absolute pitch and Mikaela Miller made a presentation on perceptual issues concerning 12- and 31-tone equal temperament tuning systems.

Axis 6 - Expanded musical practice

february 4th, 2010 - research workshop on the relationship between music and image

  • This workshop focused on the nature of the relationship composers maintain between music and animated image.  Panelists included composers Martin Matalon, Robert Normandeau, Jean Piché, film-maker Olivier Asselin and percussionist Jean Geoffroy.  The discussion was moderated by Sean Ferguson.  The workshop took place at the Université de Montréal.


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CIRMMT 2010 Student Symposium

This year’s CIRMMT Student Symposium will take place in May 2010. We would like to encourage all CIRMMT students to present their recent work in whatever format is most appealing, including:
  • large-format posters
  • oral presentations (20 minutes)
  • live demonstrations and performances

Please submit a short description of your project and desired format (150 words maximum in English or French) to Jason Hockman  (, the CIRMMT Student Representative, by 5:00 p.m. on [TBA]. Work previously presented or soon to be presented at other conferences is acceptable and encouraged.

Proposals will be chosen in order to present a broad picture of CIRMMT research, from musical compositions to computational algorithms. Sound and interactivity are highly desirable but not required.

In addition to these posters and presentations, the Student Symposium will include a keynote address from an invited guest, the CIRMMT Annual General Meeting, and an end-of-year reception with drinks, live music, and dancing. Stay tuned.

159th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (asa) and NOISE-CON 2010

128th audio engineering society (aes) convention

  • May 22-25, 2010: London, UK
  • Abstract submission has now closed.
  • Recently Amandine Pras and Catherine Guastavino recompleted a study comparing high resolution audio formats that will be presented at the 128th AES Convention in May 2010. These formats use sampling rates higher than the 44.1 kHz CD standard. But can people hear the difference? In the CIRMMT critical listening room, trained listeners were able to differentiate between orchestral music files at 44.1kHz and 88.2Hz. Except for the sampling rates, the exact same audio gear and settings were used for recording and playback (Pras, A. & Guastavino, C., 2010). Sampling rate discrimination: 44.1kHz vs. 88.2kHz.

2010 International Conference on Multidisciplinary Research in Music Pedagogy

  • May 26-29, 2010: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • CIRMMT members Marcelo Wanderley and Isabelle Cossette will be organizing a symposium titled "Performance Gesture: From the Lab to the Studio" as part of this conference.

international computer music conference 2010


New Interfaces for Musical Expression 2010 (nime 2010)

11TH International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR 2010)

20th International Congress on Acoustics (ica)/2010 INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON MUSICAL ACOUSTICS (ISMA)