New Artistic Possibilities with

The Max Maestro - An Animated Music Notation System

for Non-Professional Performers

3. Research Methodology

The research reported in this exposition draws on insights mainly generated through a broader artistic research project entitled Voices of Umeå [9], which was initiated by the author. The project was geared towards exploring new artistic possibilities for composition and performance practices within the field of contemporary art music. More specifically, artistic possibilities which arise when non-professional performers regardless of musical background are enabled to participate in the composition and performance processes. The artistic outputs and publications created within the Voices of Umeå project included performances of large-scale music compositions [10] [11] and the development of novel technology innovations [12] [13]. The Max Maestro was one of these novel technology innovations and Voices of Umeå III: Everybody Scream!!! was the grand finale composition within the project. The other two compositions, which are also looked at in this exposition, were performed as part of another research study, which emerged as a result of the findings from the Voices of Umeå project. The aim with that study was to develop The Max Maestro as an animated music notation system.


The research approach applied can be broadly characterised as artistic [e.g. 14; 15], since the aim has been to contribute with new knowledge to the field of artistic practice by analysing the artistic results of three concert hall music performances. The three specific performances were chosen as they all featured The Max Maestro and non-professional performers, but had different artistic inputs in terms of additional performers, instruments chosen and performance conditions. Audio recordings made of the performances were examined as the primary data for the analysis. Furthermore, the experiences of the author participating as a composer in the performances were taken into consideration as complementary data for the analysis. The results of a survey distributed to the performers of one of the compositions were also a part of the analysing process. The survey was only used for this composition since it included an electronic conductor, which conducted a professional chamber orchestra in sync with the animated music notation system for the non-professional performers. The aim of the survey was to get feedback about the performers’ experiences of following an electronic conductor and not to get answers about the artistic expression. However, since the survey responses were shown to be interesting from an artistic perspective they were also included as complementary data for the analysis. The artistic output of the three performances was the main focus in the examination of the empirical data. The analysis was conducted through the lens of the author, allowing his background, knowledge and experience as a composer to affect the results. The research question to answer in the study was: - Which possible new artistic possibilities for composition and performance practices could arise when involving The Max Maestro in performances including non-professional performers?

[9.] Lind Anders, Voices of Umeå: an artistic research project, (Department of Creative studies/ Umeå university/ Sweden, 2013-2015) <

[10.] Lind, Anders, Voices of Umeå part I: We Speak Music!, (2013) <>


[11.] Lind Anders, Voices of Umeå part III: Everybody Scream!!! (2014)                           <>


[12.] True Nicholas, Papworth Nigel, Zarin Ru, Peeters Jeroen, Nilbrink Fredrik, Lindbergh Kent, Fällman Daniel, Lind Anders, The Voice Harvester: an interactive installation, (2013, Proceedings of the CHI ´13 conference: Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 3003-06)


[13.] Lind, Anders, Voices of Umeå part II: Singing Instruments!! (2013) <>

[14.] Hannula, M, Suoranta, J, Vadén, T, Griffiths, G, & Kölhi, K. 2005. Artistic research: Theories, methods and practices. Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, Finland and University of Gothenburg / ArtMonitor, Gothenburg, Sweden 2005.


[15.] Arlander, Anette. 2014. On Methods of Artistic Research. In Torbjörn Lind/ Swedish research council (ed.). Method Process Reporting, Artistic yearbook 2014. Swedish Research Council, Stockholm. pp. 27-39.