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Maestra, Maestro! with La Philharmonie des enfants

Music and gesture interaction

Interpreting a song with the body.

How can a child become a conductor?

By moving their arms, the child can coordinate a symphony orchestra of several instruments. The child can thus adjust the interpretation of a track by controlling the rhythm and the different layers of the music. A fun way to understand the musical experience and its variations.

This project builds on IRCAM’s many years of experience in musical gesture research, both for artistic creation and for educational projects.

By relying on software technologies such as MuBu and Super VP, new uses of musical interactions have emerged. Technologies that process audio as a real-time   interaction   (using   machine   learning   to   recognize   gestures   and   body movements) as well as link sound descriptions and motion capture data.


This installation was designed as a collaboration between Ircam Amplify, the “Sound Music Movement Interaction” team (SMMI) at IRCAM, the Orbe company and the Philharmonie des enfants.


The   following   pieces   have   been   recorded   by   the   Paris   Orchestra   at   the Philharmonie of Paris: “Waltz of the Flowers”, “Russian Dance Trepak”, “Chinese Dance” from The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, 1892. “March to the scaffold”, from the Symphonie fantastique op. 14 by Hector Berlioz, 1830


Ircam Amplify: Frédéric Amadu, CTO.


Sound Music Movement Interaction (SMMI) from the Research lab (Science and Technology of Music and Sound) supported by the CNRS, the French Ministry ofCulture, and Sorbonne Université and IRCAM:

  • Frédéric Bevilacqua, Head researcher.
  • Jean-Philippe Lambert, researcher & developer.

The software MuBu is developed by Riccardo Borghesi, Diemo Schwarz and Norbert Schnell (SMMI team). SuperVP is developed by the Analysis/Synthesis team of the Research lab.

Philharmonie des enfants

Field of application

  • Cultural & Creative industries
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