Steve Symons
I have been working as an artist using technology since taking a MA Creative Technology in the late 1990’s. I focus primarily on performance, sound and interaction. I have developed work in a wide number of contexts and work some amazing people, notably with Simon Blackmore and Antony Hall as a member of the sound art and sculpture collective Owl Project. My own practice is found at muio.org which is also the name of my part-time Creative Technology consultancy, facilitating other artists to enshrine their ideas in technology.

My PhD is based in the Music Technology department in the Faculty of Music, Arts and Humanities at the University of Sussex. My research is kindly supported by The Leverhulme Trust through the be.AI Centre at the university.

Entangled Instruments Research
This website is is the repository for my PhD research in to multiple player musical experiences.

There have been quite a few instruments over the years (some might even appear blogged on this site as time progresses) that are intended to emphasise the social interaction between the players as much (or if not more than) the product they are making together. My argument is that for the most part the metaphors used are individualised.

This isn’t really that surprising when you think of the nature of traditional instruments and music making. We are all used to music being played by a band or an orchestra or sizes in between. The key thing is that a number of ‘musicians’ each with an ‘instrument’ come together and create a musical experience. Some people are lucky enough to participate in a choir regardless of the, so called, level – meeting socially or professionally. Such collective experiences can be quite transformative, but not everyone can, for many reasons, access them.

The focus of my research is into how can we can maximise this intimate experience (not make it necessarily ‘easier’ but maybe accessible and fun and alluring) in a new way.

I have several key questions that I am exploring such as

What new systems can be designed that can transform the players perception of how they relate to each other?
How do people act as they explore these new sound worlds?