Gametrak Controller: A Virtual Musical Instrument and the Realisation of ‘Sound Capsule’
26 August 2020
15:00 - 15:30 hrs (GMT+7)
Gametrak Controller is a game controller designed in the early 2000s for games on a console platform. Because of the tactility of the position tracking system of its tethers, many laptop orchestras and ensembles have been exploring its potentials and designing programmes which transform this gestural device into various virtual musical instruments. A collaboration with the Swansea Laptop Orchestra in 2018 led me to incorporate external devices into my electroacoustic compositions. Having conducted further research on the controller itself and how different ensembles work with the device, I discovered a vast array of possibilities to translate data into sounds and transform gestures captured by the controller into music. With the help of various conditional logics in a computer programme, a Gametrak Controller can become any musical instrument, within and beyond our imagination.
In the first section of this paper, I explain the controller and its brief history, including experiments conducted by others on the translation of data into music. In the second section, I discuss my use of the gestural device in my composition Sound Capsule, an imaginary soundscape realised in live performance by using the positions of sound samples and a performer within a virtual space.