ASU professor shares research at conference and performs at musical festival

March 2, 2020


Lauren Hayes, assistant professor in the School of Arts, Media and Engineering in Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and director of the Practice and Research in Enactive Sonic Arts (PARIESA) lab, presented her research into site-responsive sonic art, ecosystemic approaches to sonic interaction design and autopoiesis at a conference at the University of Chicago on Feb. 28-29.

The CHIME Studio at the University of Chicago hosted the CHIMEFest 2020: Circulations Symposium on Live Audio Feedback in Art conference as a gathering of artists and researchers from around the world who are working with audio feedback. The symposium included performances, sound installations, paper presentations and more.


In addition to speaking at the conference, Hayes performed compositions involving auditory feedback by Oliver Hickman.

Hayes is also continuing her work on the Fluid Corpus Manipulation (FluCoMa) project with researchers at the University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom. FluCoMa is supported by the European Union Horizon 2020 fund and “instigates new musical ways of exploiting ever-growing banks of sound and gestures within the digital composition process, by bringing breakthroughs of signal decomposition, DSP and machine learning to the toolset of technofluent computer composers, creative coders and digital artists.”

Hayes, an improviser, creative coder and theorist, has been working for over 14 months as part of the Fluid Corpus Manipulation project with researchers at the University of Huddersfield, and the first FluCoMa toolset is now available as a public beta for MaxMSP and several other creative coding environments. The second part of the FluCoMa toolkit will explore novel ways of recombining sound corpora using machine learning and other techniques. Hayes will return to the University of Huddersfield in July as part of a large study being conducted by FluCoMa doctoral students within the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM). The FluCoMa team will explore her use of the new software tools through extensive technical analysis of her code in combination with the commissioned performance.

As part of the project, she performed a new commission at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the U.K.’s largest international festival of new and experimental music in November. In aconcert comprising five of the world’s leading electronic performers, including Richard Devine, Olivier Pasquet and Leafcutter John, Hayes gave the world premiere of a “Moon via Spirit.” Simon Cummings, a composer, writer and researcher based in the Cotswolds, south of England, called her performance “an exhilarating experience, its sense of direction was articulated like a kind of sped-up genetic evolution.”

The performance will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 later this year.




The Fluid Corpus Manipulation project (FluCoMA) instigates new musical ways of exploiting ever-growing banks of sound and gestures within the digital composition process, by bringing breakthroughs of signal decomposition DSP and machine learning to the toolset of techno-fluent computer composers, creative coders and digital artists.

These potent algorithms are currently partially available in closed bespoke software, or in laboratories, but not at a suitable level of modularity within the main coding environments used by the creative researchers, namely MaxPd and SuperCollider, to allow groundbreaking sonic research into a rich unexploited area: the manipulation of large sound corpora. Indeed, with access to, genesis of, and storage of large sound banks now commonplace, novel ways of abstracting and manipulating them are needed to mine their inherent potential.

FluCoMa proposes to tackle this issue by empowering techno-fluent aesthetic researchers with a toolset for signal decomposition, and one for machine learning, as well as support material, in order to experiment with new sound and gesture design untapped in large corpora from within their high-level creative coding workflow. Three degrees of manipulations are set to be explored: (1) expressive browsing and descriptor-based taxonomy, (2) remixing, component replacement, and hybridisation by concatenation, and (3) pattern recognition at component level, with interpolating and variation-making potential. These novel manipulations will yield new sounds, new musical ideas, and new approaches to large corpora.

As with previous HISS projects, FluCoMa will deliver its findings open source, in the form of software (standalone and extensions) with extensive documentation and examples, as well as the underlying libraries in C++. Moreover, musical works commissioned to challenge these new methodologies will be released, through concerts and plenaries on surrounding subjects, and documented in academic papers. A users forum will also be at the centre of this emerging research community.

FluCoMa is based within the Department of Music and Music Technology, with its Centre for Research in New Music, on the Queensgate Campus of the University of Huddersfield. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programmeunder grant agreement No 725899.




Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival
The UK’s largest international festival of new and experimental music

hcmf// is an annual, international festival of contemporary and new music, taking place over 10 days and consisting of approximately 50 events – including concerts, music-theatre, dance, multi-media, talks and film – with a related Learning and Participation programme devised and implemented to reflect the artistic programme and respond to regional need.

hcmf// aims to provide life-changing and unique artistic experiences to as wide an audience as possible; to be an international platform for new music and related contemporary art forms in Britain; to enthuse existing audiences and draw in new ones through adventurous programming and informed, stylish presentation, and to be an active cultural partner within the region.


Thumbnail credits: Brian Slater


Other videos by PARIESA lab could be found at this link: vimeo.com/elleesaich