How and why does music make us move? This has been a highly discussed musicological topic in recent years. Former research in the field has focused on large-scale motion to music, such as dancing. The MICRO project has investigated how music influences human micromotion, the tiny motion observed when people try to stand still. Even though such micromotion is barely visible, it can be measured. This makes it possible to carry out studies on the effects of music on micromotion. Throughout the project, we ran Championships of Standstill annually to collect data. Here we invited people to our motion capture lab and measured how much (or little) they moved while standing still, with and without music. Using both qualitative and quantitative analyses, we found that electronic dance music makes people move a little more than other music genres. We also found that people move more when they listen with headphones instead of loudspeakers. Data from the project has been made publicly available in the Oslo Standstill Database. The scientific results from the project have been used as the starting point for artistic exploration. We have played several concerts using sonic microinteraction with muscle-sensing armbands. We also developed several installations using self-playing guitars. These installations explored the concept of "inverse" interaction. The more you stand still, the louder the guitars play. The MICRO project has contributed to understanding more about an "invisible" part of human activity.
Prosjektet har i første omgang hatt vitenskapelig betydning innen musikkvitenskap, psykologi, informatikk, biomekanikk, fysioterapi og medisin. Det har vært med på å belyse hvordan musikk påvirker kropp og velvære. Som et åpen forskning-flaggskip har prosjektet vist vei. Mange forskere har blitt inspirert av å lese den åpent tilgjengelige prosjektbeskrivelsen. Datainnsamlingen har delvis blitt gjort som folkeforskning og bidratt til stor medieinteresse. Oslo stillstandsdatabase og den åpne programvaren er allerede tatt i bruk av andre forskere. Prosjektet ble opprinnelig inspirert fra kunstnerisk utforskning og de vitenskapelige resultatene har ledet til konserter og kunstinstallasjoner. Den kunstneriske eksperimenteringen hjelper med å stille nye spørsmål som kan besvares vitenskapelig. Prosjektet har vist hvordan det er mulig å jobbe radikalt tverrfaglig mellom humanistiske, samfunnsvitenskapelige, naturvitenskapelige, teknologiske og kunstneriske disipliner.
This project seeks to investigate the close couplings between musical sound and human bodily micromotion. Micromotion is here used to describe the smallest motion that we are able to produce and experience, typically at a rate smaller than 10 mm/s. The last decades have seen an increased focus on the role of the human body in both the performance and the perception of music. Up to now, however, the micro-level of these experiences has received little attention. This project will investigate music-related micromotion of people experiencing music (perceivers), with an aim of contributing to:
- knowledge about how musical sound influences human motion at the micro-level. This will be based on literature studies, theoretical modelling, and a longitudinal observational study as well as three large-scale experiments of sound-motion relationships.
- a large, annotated and metadata-rich database of the micromotion recordings mentioned above. The database will be central to the current project, and will also be made available for future research in the field.
- conceptual models and software tools for using micromotion to control musical sound in computer-based systems. Such musical microinteraction can be used for music performance or production, or for "active listening".
The project will be based on recent theories of embodied music cognition, combining musical phenomenology with new models from cognitive neuroscience. Methodologically, the project will span widely, from introspection and discussion in small groups to statistical analysis of motion capture recordings and development of new interactive music systems.