Federico Fontana: What do we play in the piano? (and) What in the piano do we hear?

When: Wednesday 29th March, 2017 @ 5:10 PM

Where: Atrium, Alison House (Nicolson Square), University of Edinburgh

Seminar Title

What do we play in the piano? (and) What in the piano do we hear?

Seminar Speaker

Federico Fontana (Department of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Physics, University of Udine, Italy)

Seminar Abstract

Both the versatility of the piano’s keyboard-based interface, and the peculiarity of its sound generation mechanism, make it an extremely interesting musical instrument from a research viewpoint. A successful audio engine, capable of synthesising state-of-the-art piano sounds in real time, will be presented. An overview of the development process that led to an industrial product will also be outlined. Research questions follow, about what pianists perceive during playing. Partial answers to these questions have come from recent research, now in press, about the role of tactile feedback during piano playing, and about the (yet to be understood) role of kinesthetic and visual feedback in the auditory lateralisation of piano tones.

Speaker Bio

Federico Fontana received the Laurea degree in electronic engineering from the University of Padova, Italy, in 1996 and the Ph.D. degree in computer science from the University of Verona, Italy, in 2003. During the Ph.D. degree studies, he was a Research Consultant in the design and realisation of real-time audio DSP systems. He is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and Physics, University of Udine, Italy, teaching audio-tactile interactions, computer networks and object-oriented programming. In 2001, he was Visiting Scholar at the Laboratory of Acoustics and Audio Signal Processing, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland. During summer 2017 he has visited the ICST at the Zurich University of the Arts. His current interests are in interactive sound processing methods and in the design and evaluation of musical interfaces. Professor Fontana coordinated the EU project 222107 NIW under the FP7 ICT-2007.8.0 FET-Open call from 2008 to 2011. He is an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing. He coordinates the PhD program in Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics at his university. He is Secretary of the Italian Association of Musical Informatics.