Performing a Piece from a DMI Repertoire – Case Study with the T-Stick



John Sullivan


The purpose of this project is to gather enough data to allow for the performance of an existing piece for digital musical instruments (DMI).

Few DMIs have a life expectancy that goes beyond the prototype. In the case of the T-Stick, efforts were made to create a community of performers and composers as well as develop the repertoire (Fukuda, 2021). Yet, the notion of repertoire implies that pieces are available for performance. As technology evolves, composers face the challenge of updating their tools which in turn impacts the availability of a piece for other performers.

The piece selected is Les multiples usages du mot “geste” for T-Stick sopranino, composed by Antoine Goudreau in 2021.

Piece for a solo Digital Musical Instrument. Accessibility of the interface: T-Stick maintained at IDMIL since 2006. Contact with the composer: Goudreau lives in Montréal. Availability of documentation and graphical score: provided by the composer. Complexity of the mapping and sound synthesis: easily reproducible in Libmapper and Max/MSP

Rebuilding the instrument

Different hardware and firmware between 2021 and 2023 T-Stick.

Resuscitating a 2021 T-Stick looked unlikely, adapting the mapping seemed easier.

Sound synthesis: [rogs~] granulator (IRCAM’s Max Sound Box) is still available.

Choices had to be made to overcome changes in interface hardware and firmware, as well as mapping software obsolescence.

Score and playing techniques

The composer’s documentation included a graphical score and a basic description of instrument manipulations.

Composer intentions

Large gestures should correspond to large sonic events. Timing of score events may be interpreted loosely. Reverberation’s main role is to freeze/extend sound in time. Pressure sensor values scaled to limit performer effort. Concerns about battery life. The perfomer needs to trust the instrument.


Fukuda, Takuto et al. (2021). « The T-Stick Music Creation Project: An approach to building a creative community around a DMI », International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression.

Mamedes, Clayton et al. (2014). « Composing for DMIs Entoa, a Dedicate Piece for Intonaspacio », dans Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, London, United Kingdom, p. 509-512.

Meneses, Eduardo A. L. (2022). Iterative Design in DMIs and AMIs : Expanding and Embedding a High-Level Gesture Vocabulary for T-Stick and GuitarAMI. Doctoral thesis, McGill University.

Miranda, Eduardo R. and Wanderley, Marcelo M. (2006). New Digital Musical Instruments : Control and Interactions Beyond the Keyboard, Middleton, WI, United States, A-R Editions, Inc.

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