Professor Bret Battey

Job: Professor of Audio-visual Composition

Faculty: Technology

School/department: Leicester Media School

Research group(s): Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC); Games and Interactive Media Research (GAMER) Special Interest Group

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 8278

E: bbattey@dmu.ac.uk

W: http://BatHatMedia.com

 

Personal profile

Professor Bret Battey came from the United States to join the De Montfort team in 2004. Prior to coming to De Montfort University, he spent a year in India engaged in research as a Fulbright Fellow and two years as a Research Associate with the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has degrees in electronic music and music composition from Oberlin Conservatory (BMus) and the University of Washington (MMus, DMA).

He creates electronic, acoustic, and multimedia concert works and installations, synthesizing a diverse professional and educational background in music composition, computer science, graphic and web design, and electronics. He pursues research in algorithmic music, digital signal processing, image and sound relationship, and expressive sound synthesis. His passions for Indian classical music, contemplative practice, and feedback systems, chaos, and complexity have had strong impact on his research and artistic work.

His sound and image compositions, which involve custom-programmed video and sound algorithms, have achieved widespread international recognition, including prizes and honours from the Austria's Prix Ars Electronica, France's Bourges Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique, Spain's Punto y Raya Festival and MuVi4, Abstracta Cinema of Rome, Amsterdam Film eXperience and the Texas Fresh Minds Festival . He has published research in Computer Music Journal, Organised Sound, Ideas Sónicas, and the International Journal of Creative Computing.

Prof Battey has supervised and examined postgraduate research in the areas related to sound and image composition, Indian classical music, computer programming, interactive design, installations, and complex systems and feedback. He also welcomes research in other areas of composition, algorithmic techniques and synthesis design. 

Research group affiliations

Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre (MTIRC)
Games and Interactive MEdia Research (GAMER) SIG

Publications and outputs 

  • Estuaries 3
    Estuaries 3 Battey, B. 'Estuaries 3' is the third of the author's Estuaries series of audiovisual compositions, which explore the expressive potential of the author's Variable-Coupled Map Networks and the author's OptiNelder video filter for generative music and images.
  • Estuaries 2
    Estuaries 2 Battey, B. 'Estuaries 2' is the second of the author's Estuaries series of audiovisual compositions, which explore the expressive potential of the authors Variable-Coupled Map Networks and OptiNelder methods for generative music and images. 'Estuaries 2' focuses on dialog between grid-based logic and all-over textures with random distributions,
  • Nodewebba: Software for Composing with Networked Iterated Maps
    Nodewebba: Software for Composing with Networked Iterated Maps Battey, B. Nodewebba software provides a GUI implementation of the author’ s “Variable-Coupled Map Networks” (VCMN) approach to algorithmic composition. A VCMN node consists of a simple iterated map, timing controls, and controls for mapping the node output to musical parameters. These nodes can be networked, routing the outputs of nodes to control the variables of other nodes. This can enable complex emergent patterning and provides a powerful tool for creating musical materials that exhibit interrelated parts. Nodewebba also provides API hooks for programmers to expand its functionality. The author discusses the design and features of Nodewebba, some of the technical implementation issues, and a brief example of its application to a compositional project.
  • Convergence of Time and Space: Visual Music from an Electroacoustic Music Perspective
    Convergence of Time and Space: Visual Music from an Electroacoustic Music Perspective Battey, B.; Fischman, R. This chapter considers the historical lineage and conceptual origins of visual music, addressing the turn to abstraction and absolute film in visual arts, particularly in the first half of the twentieth century, and the turn to mimesis and spatialisation in music, particularly through the acousmatic tradition after World War II. The latter context will be used to introduce relevant concepts from electroacoustic music. The authors propose the existence of a process of convergence between visual artists and musicians that prompted the former to embrace time through a shift away from mimesis towards abstraction, and the latter to adopt greater focus on space in shifting from abstraction towards mimesis. Together, these historical shifts serve as a preamble to the development of audiovisual art, revealing underlying theoretical commonalities regarding the articulation of time and space. These commonalities suggest fundamental dynamics of what Chion calls the audiovisual contract and strategies available to the visual music creator to create a synergy of sound and image. Some of these strategies are demonstrated in two case studies of works by the authors.
  • Study Towards an Illustrated Raga Bhairavi
    Study Towards an Illustrated Raga Bhairavi Battey, B. Vocalists performing in the North-Indian Khyaal classical tradition often move their upper body, head and arms in spontaneous gestures that seem to present a kind of parallel discourse with music itself. Given that the movement of the Khyaal vocalist is itself an physical interpretation of the music, it seems that this movement could act as a bridge between the domain of music and the domain of visuals. This animation is an early-stage experiment in using motion-tracking of an Indian classical vocalist's gestures to control abstract animated visuals. It is based on an audio and motion-tracking recording of Khayal vocalist Tofail Ahmed.
  • Estuaries 1
    Estuaries 1 Battey, B. 'Estuaries 1' is the first of the Estuaries series of audiovisual compositions, which explore the expressive potentials of the author's Variable-Coupled Map Networks and OptiNelder methods for generative music and image. It evokes an 'unstable stasis' through processes that are always on the edge of destabilisation. 'Estuaries 1' can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/202629040
  • Creative Computing and the Generative Artist
    Creative Computing and the Generative Artist Battey, B. This article addresses the research agenda of creative computing from the perspective of a generative artist/composer, someone for whom processes of software creation and art creation inseparably intertwine. Using his audiovisual composition Clonal Colonies (2011) as a case study, the author addresses the dynamic of generative artistic creation when it is a process of discovery and dialog with artist-created, often unpredictable software systems. He provides technical specifics regarding his use of his variable-coupled map networks approach for music and his Brownian Doughnut Warper visual algorithm. Finally, he proposes a set of principles applicable to the creation of generative artwork, considers how tools and systems could better support such work, and proposes that creative computing research also focus on helping creatives surmount the fundamental personal challenges encountered in creative work of all types.
  • The Five, for vibraphone and responsive audiovisuals
    The Five, for vibraphone and responsive audiovisuals Battey, B. The Five, written for percussionist Andrew Spencer, is a spoken-text, music and moving-image work inspired by chapter 12 of the 1500 year-old Chinese Taoist text Tao Teh Ching. More information is available at http://BatHatMedia.com/Gallery/thefive.html .
  • Towards a Fluid Audiovisual Counterpoint
    Towards a Fluid Audiovisual Counterpoint Battey, B. The author critiques and expands his concept of "fluid audiovisual counterpoint" by investigating the relevance of the species counterpoint tradition in music to conceptualizing audiovisual relationships in abstract video music. He points out both gains and limitations of such an approach, considering in particular issues of temporal and perceptual hierarchy, atomism, and gesture. He also considers how this might relate to Adam Basanta's 2013 proposed three-axes model of audiovisual relationship typologies. Ultimately, he proposes elements of a "phenomenological theory of audiovisual counterpoint", with fluidity being a subcategory. As an example, he considers how this subcategory might be informed by the relationship between the gestures of Indian classical vocalists and the music they are singing. Ultimately, the argument is made that complete systematization of audiovisual counterpoint is not possible, or even desirable, and that informing the artistic intuition by expanding possibilities and sensitivities would be the primary goal of an audiovisual counterpoint pedagogy.
  • Haptic Control of Multistate Generative Music Systems
    Haptic Control of Multistate Generative Music Systems Battey, B.; Giannoukakis, M.; Picinali, Lorenzo Force-feedback controllers have been considered as a solution to the lack of sonically coupled physical feedback in digital-music interfaces, with researchers focusing on instrument-like models of interaction. However, there has been little research applied to the use of force-feedback interfaces to the control of real-time generative-music systems. This paper proposes that haptic interfaces could enable performers to have a more fully embodied engagement with such systems, increasing expressive control and enabling new compositional and performance potentials. A proof-of-concept project is described, which entailed development of a core software toolkit and implementation of a series of test cases.

 

Click here for a full listing of Bret Battey's publications and outputs.

Key research outputs

Estuaries 2 - audio-visual composition (2017)

Estuaries 1 - audio-visual composition (2016)

Battey, B. (2016) “Creative Computing and the Generative Artist”. In International Journal of Creative Computing 1(2-4), pp. 154-173. DOI: 10.1504/IJCRC.2016.076065

Battey, B. and Fischman, R. (2016) 'Convergence of Time and Space: Visual Music from an Electroacoustic Music Perspective'. In Kaduri, Y., Ed.,The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Western Art. Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199841547.013.002

The Five – for vibraphone and responsive audiovisuals (2015)

Triptych Unfolding – with Hugi Guðmundsson (music) – for piano, electronics and live visuals (2014)

Clonal Colonies — for Pierrot ensemble, computer-realised video and sound (2011)

Sinus Aestum — for computer-realised video and sound (2009)

cMatrix12 — installation for computer-realized video and sound (2009)

Lacus Temporis — for computer-realised video and sound (2008)

Mercurius — for computer-realised video and sound (2007)

Autarkeia Aggregatum  — for computer-realised video and sound (2005)

Battey, B. (2004) "Bézier Spline Modeling of Pitch-continuous Melodic Expression and Ornamentation"Computer Music Journal, 28(4), pp. 25–39. DOI: 10.1162/0148926042728377

Battey, B. (2004) "Musical Pattern Generation with Variable-Coupled Iterated Map Networks". Organised Sound 9(2), pp. 137–150. DOI: 10.1017/S1355771804000226

Research interests/expertise

Music composition, audio-visual composition, algorithmic techniques, sound synthesis, image synthesis, force-feedback interfaces, modeling of Indian classical music

Areas of teaching

Sound synthesis and algorithm-assisted composition
Sound and Image
Advanced Creative Projects
Digital Cultures

Qualifications

Battey completed his masters and doctoral studies in Music Composition at the University of Washington, Seattle, and his Bachelors of Music in Electronic and Computer Music at Oberlin Conservatory. He also served as a Research Associate for the University of Washington's Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media.

Courses taught

MUST1009 Digital Cultures
MUST2004 Creative Coding for Music
MUST2005 Sound and Image
MUST2008 Composing with Technology
MUST3021 Advanced Creative Projects
MUST3026 Composing with Dance
MUST3000/3024 Dissertation/Final Project
PERF3017 Performance, Interaction and Digital Technologies
MUST5001 Aesthetics and Ideas in Sonic Arts
MUST5002 Contextual Practice of Music and Technology
MUST5000/5004/5005/ Dissertation/Porfolio

Honours and awards

  • Co-First Prize – MuVi4 International Exhibition of Video and Moving Image 2015, Spain — for Clonal Colonies
  • First Prize - Fresh Minds Festival 2013, Texas A&M University, USA — for Clonal Colonies
  • Honorable Mention - Punta y Raya Festival 2014, Reykjavic, Iceland — for Clonal Colonies
  • Finalist: Best of the Fest  — Red Stick International Animation Festival 2010, Baton Rouge, USA — for Sinus Aestum
  • Honorable Mention — Abstracta 2008, Rome — for Lacus Temporis
  • Best Experimental Animation / Visual Music — Red Stick International Animation Festival 2008, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA — for Mercurius
  • First Prize - Punto y Raya Festival 2007, Madrid — for Mercurius
  • First Prize -  Abstracta 2007, Rome — for Mercurius
  • 'Breaking Out of the Frame' Special Jury Prize — Amsterdam Film eXperience 2007 — for Mercurius
  • Honourable Mention — Prix Ars Electronica, Austria — for On the Presence of Water

 

  • MacDowell Colony Norton Stevens Fellow, 2003
  • U.S. Fulbright Commission Research Fellowship to India, 2001-2002

Membership of professional associations and societies

  • International Computer Music Association
  • Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States

Conference attendance

Invited Speaker

  • Force-Feedback and Music Symposium, McGill University, Montréal, Canada — December, 2016
  • Punto y Raya Academy, Madrid, Spain, 2015
  • Arte en el Sigio XXI, National University of Rosario, Sante Fe, Argentina, 2014
  • Kinetica Art Fair, Collider Conversation, London, UK, 2014
  • Technarte International Conference of Art and Technology, Bilbao, Spain, 2013
  • Seeing Sound: Visual Music Symposium, Bath Spa University — October, 2011
  • Visible Sound: Hebrew University, Jerusalem — February, 2010
  • Seeing Sound: Visual Music Symposium, Bath Spa University — September, 2009
  • SIGGRAPH 2009 New Orleans, Visual Music Talks — August, 2009
    Paper — Modulated Feedback: The Audio-Visual Composition Mercurius

Reviewed Conference Papers

  • Battey, B. (2016) 'Nodewebba: Software for Composing with Networked Iterated Maps'. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Utretch.
  • Battey, B., Giannouakakis, M., & Picinali, L. (2015) 'Haptic Control of Multistate Generative Music Systems'. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, University of North Texas.
  • Battey, B. (2011) 'Sound Synthesis and Composition with Compression-Controlled Feedback'. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference 2011, University of Huddersfield, UK.
  • Francksen, K., Battey, B., and Breslin, J. (2009) 'Creative Process and Pedagogy with Interactive Dance, Music and Image'. Congress on Research in Dance Conference Proceedings, v.41, supplement S1, pp 307-311.
  • Battey, B. (2007) 'Editing Strategies for Bézier-Modeled Continuous Expression Curves'. Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference 2007, Copenhagen.
  • Battey, B. (2006) 'Autarkeia Aggregatum: Autonomous Points, Emergent Textures'. ACM SIGGRAPH 2006 Sketches, Article No. 92.
  • Battey, B. (2001) 'An Animation Extension to Common Music'. Proceedings of the Connecticut College Biennial Symposium on the Arts and Technology.

 

Consultancy work

NESTA Mentor to sitarist Dharambir Singh for development of padagogical software for Indian classical music (2007-2009)

Current research students

PhD First Supervisor

  • Asher Arnon — Visual Music Strategies and the Sense of Place
  • Marinos Giannoukakis — Multimodal Performance with Game Engines: Complexity and Abstract Narrative 
  • Susanne Grunewald — Electroacoustic Music for Film: Crossing Boundaries between Sound Design and Music using Electroacoustic Composition Techniques
  • Sebastiano Gualtieri — Acousmatic Music with Video
  • Andreas Katsiavalos — Automatic Musical Schemata Identification, with Adaptation to User Feedback
  • Francisco Marti Perez — Audiovisual Composition using Synchronous Granular Synthesis and Pseudorandom Number Generator Algorithms

MA by Research, First Supervisor

  • Lloyd Allen — Audio-visual Installations with Spatial Awareness
  • Calum Vaughan — Markov Chains in Semi-Realtime Beat-Based Electronic Music Performance

PhD Second Supervisor

  • Steve Jones  The Carry Principle: Music, Sound, Image and New Mobile Practice
  • Simon Waite — Hybrid Audio-Visual Performance Systems and the role of the Human Agent

 

Internally funded research project information

Research Leave Scheme, Autumn 2015, De Montfort University

Revolving Investment Fund for Research 2013-14, De Montfort University: Haptic Control of Multistate Generative Music Systems

Interdisciplinarity, Technology and Creative Process | Research Informed Teaching, HUMS | Jan 2008 – June 2008 | Co-investigator with Kerry Francksen and Jo Breslin.

 

Professional esteem indicators

Sounds of Silences International Competition 2017, Selection Panel

Reykjavik Centre for Visual Music 2014, Live Cinema Award Selection Panel

International Computer Music Conference 2011, Audiovisual Selection Panel

Reveiwer: Computer Music Journal, Organised Sound

Leverhulme grant reviewer

Guest Lectures, Symposia, Master Classes, Etc.

  • Force-Feedback and Music Symposium, McGill University, Montréal, Canada — Dec 6-10, 2016
  • University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada — Dec 8, 2016
    Seminar
  • Leeds University — Mar 2016
    Seminar
  • Punto y Raya Academy, Madrid, Spain — May 7-10, 2015
    Workshop and Master Class
  • GLEAM 2014, University of Glasgow, UK — Oct 31, 2014
    Clonal Colonies: Wayfinding, Algorithm, Impermanence
  • Collider Conversation, Kinetika Arts Fair, London, UK — Oct 19, 2014
    Panel Discussion
  • International Seminar Arte en el Siglo XXI, National University of Rosario, Santa Fé, Argentina — Sep 10, 2014
    Seminar
  • University of Montréal, Montréal, Canada — Feb 26, 2014
    Seminar
  • York University, Toronto, Canada — Feb 24, 2014
    Composing the Audiovisual: Wayfinding, Algorithm, Impermanence
  • Iceland Academy of the Arts, Reykjavic, Iceland  – Jan 31, 2014
    Visual Music in the Digital Age
  • Intermedial Perspectives: Practice – Technology –  Pedagogy Symposium, De Montfort University, UK — July 2, 2013
    Embodied Audiovisuality: Mapping Gestures of an Indian Classical Vocalist
  • Collider Artslab / Elektrical Séance, Northampton, UK — May 7, 2013
    Clonal Colonies: Complex Systems and Audiovisual Composition
  • Royal Conservatory of Music, Stockholm, Sweden — April 26, 2013
    Clonal Colonies: Complex Systems and Audiovisual Composition + Composition Master Class
  • Technarte International Conference on Art and Technology, Bilbao, Spain — April 5, 2013
    Clonal Colonies: Complex Systems and Audiovisual Composition
  • Code-Control Max/MSP Conference, Leicester, UK — March 23, 2013
    Clonal Colonies: Composing with Variable-Coupled Map Networks in Max/MSP
  • University of Kent, UK — December 11, 2012
    Clonal Colonies: Complex Systems and Audiovisual Composition
  • Oberlin Conservatory — September, 2011
    Seminar, Master Class, Solo Concert
  • Juilliard School of Music — September, 2011
    Seminar
  • New York University — September, 2011
    Seminar
  • Durham University, UK — February, 2011
    Audiovisual Composition with Complex Gestalts(The Luna Series)
  • University of the Arts, Berlin — January, 2011
    Seminar and Lecture: Audiovisual Composition with Complex Gestalts(The Luna Series)
  • Visible Bits, Audible Bytes Symposium, De Montfort University/Phoenix Square, Leicester — October, 2010
    Matching Complex Audio and Visual Gestalts
  • Digital Arts Symposium — Phoenix Square Film and Digital Media, Leicester — November, 2009
    cMatrix12 background and technique
  • Stanford University CCRMA/School of Music — April, 2009
    Graduate seminar
  • University of the Pacific, Stockton, California — April, 2009
    Seminar
  • Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, University of Washington, Seattle — April, 2009
    Graduate seminar
  • University of Hull at Scarborough, UK, Creative Music Technology — 2008
    Visual Music in the Digital Age
  • Sonic Arts Network Expo 2007, Plymouth University — 2007
    Computer Analysis and Composition with Bézier Spline Expression Curve Models
  • Practice as Research Symposium, Bath Spa University — 2007
    Visual Music in the Digital Age
  • Guest Lecturer Series, Nottingham University School of Music — 2007
    Visual Music in the Digital Age
  • Research Seminar, MTI, De Montfort University — 2007
    Computer Modeling of Pitch and Expression Curves in Indian Classical Music
  • Artistic Process Symposium, MTI, De Montfort University — 2006
    Retrospective Thoughts on Creativity and Metacreativity
  • Daniel D. McCracken Computational Sciences Seminar Series, Central Washington University — 2004
    Computer Modeling of Expression Curves in Hindustani Classical Music
  • Animation Arts Guest Lecture Series, University of Washington — 2002
    Form and Expression
  • Machine Design Group, University of Washington — 2003
    Computer Modeling of Hindustani Melodic Ornament
  • Washington Composers Forum — 2002
    An American Computer Musician in India
  • Lalit Kala Kendra and Inter-University Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Pune, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Institute of Information Technology Management, Kerala, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India — 2002
    Computer Music: The Fusing of Artistic and Technical Creation
  • CARTAH Lecture Series, University of Washington, Seattle — 2000
    Digital Music: Integration of Algorithmic Music and Animation
  • New Music Northwest, Evergreen State College, Washington — 1999
    Chaotic Networks for Algorithmic Pattern Generation
  • Microsoft Advanced Technology Group, Redmond — 1994 
    Behind the Juggling Jukebox (with James Jay)
Bret-Battey-5351

Search Who's Who

3 cMatrix 12 Cube at Phoenix Square

Mercurius

Clonal Colonies Runners

 
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