<< RePlayScape. . . Communicating Wordlessly 

DJ Squiggle's Mother has dementia so he devised a way to communicate with her via music. They regularly have jam sessions. On 26 May 2016 he decided to go public with a talk at UNSW for the Sydney Interactive Arts meetup group.

Therapists champion the retrieval of long term memories by playing golden oldies. While that has its own benefits, Squiggle's approach is very different because it involves:

This encourages his Mum (and others with language difficulties) to continue enjoying exploration of her own mind as well as circumventing her frustration with words. An audio recording of such a jam session is given below (video featuring Squiggle's Mum will eventually be uploaded too).

Three cheap physical control surfaces are employed (Korg NanoKontrols) which are each using the MIDI protocol to remix a composition in real-time with netpd (which is open-source networked music jamming software created in PureData). Each one is under $100 and a pared down configuration using just one NanoKontrol can be used.

Korg NanoKontrol v1

This is a community project not a commercial one. Anyone wishing to try the same with their loved ones is welcome to contact Squiggle for technical details. The best method of contact is via the chatroom on the main RePlayScape radio page where you can often hear netpd jams (not with Squiggle's Mum) as well as streaming ambient music from around the world.

Currently there are three musicians jamming each Thursday evening 7pm Sydney time and anyone interested to create new music is welcome to join. Just enter the chatroom and we will give you instructions for installing the free multi-platform software. No MIDI controllers are required.

Below is a track made by three of us with Squiggle's Mum's voice speaking made-up words over the top of the previous night's jam. She was listening to the track and the FX on her voice. Her vocal track has not been cut-up... it truly represents her reaction to the music.

PureData Jams 3of3 Pahuljast (netpd 2019-04-04 & 05)