Marguerite Humeau and Julien Bloit: The Opera of Prehistoric Creatures

Wed, 01/23/2013 - 5:15pm - 7:00pm
CCRMA Classroom, The Knoll 2nd floor, Rm 217
Event Type: 
 'The Opera of Prehistoric Creatures' sets up the rebirth of cloned creatures, their wandering and their sound epic. They are seeking to evolve in our contemporary era.The designer aims at resuscitating the sound of prehistoric creatures by reconstructing their vocal tract from incomplete data.  3D models are derived from MRI  scans (woolly mammoths frozen in Siberia) as well as fossil data .  The vocal tracts,  CNC machined from foam, include a Mammoth Imperator (-4,5 MYA), an Entelodont aka Terminator Pig (-25 MYA), and an Ambulocetus "Walking whale" (-50MYA).

Marguerite Humeau bio:
MH is currently working on a "design trilogy" which aims at reconnecting with extinct, unknown, or physically unreachable lives.
Humeau has to overcome the difficulty of creating work from nonexistent, inaccessible or lost data. The work is introduced as a quest, setting up an enigma, narrating the journey, and staging its final outcomes: “science-fictions”, semi-real, synthetic, supernatural events. Humeau’s work has been recognised internationally through various awards and publications including I-D magazine, Blueprint, Azure, Dezeen, Designboom, DesignWeek, FastcoDesign, NPR, France Culture, Libération, Le Monde.

Julien Bloit bio:
One of the challenges consists in defining the latent layer of the model (the symbolic units) when no definitive taxonomy exists to describe all possible instrumental sounds. My work studies how a complex musical vocabulary can be factorized with a simpler set of elementary profiles.
For this purpose, I have been working with hidden Markov models, and studying specific extensions such as segmental models (where a single state emits an observation sequence), or state-space factorizing techniques.
On a longer term, one of my goals would be to automatically derive a set of elementary profiles, which could also serve on a musicological ground. For this purpose, I'm interested in automatic model selection problematics.
For the sake of real time interaction, I have studied under which conditions can the Viterbi algorithm output the optimal path in an online context. I have identified necessary conditions for a short-time version of the algoritm to work, and studied the relation between an HMM's topology and the decoding latency.

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