Designing DMIs with(in) a Music Culture: A Participatory Design Process with the Xambá Quilombola Community



John Sullivan

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João Tragtenberg, Filipe Calegario, Marcelo M. Wanderley, Virgínia Cavalcanti

Publication or Conference Title:

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME '24)


This paper presents a participatory design process with the Xamba ? community to create new Digital Musical In- struments (DMIs) emphasizing the integration within their music culture. The project yielded two novel instruments, the Agbaixo, and Boto ?es Falantes, engaging the community in every stage and considering the traditional instruments’ entanglements in the materiality, corporeality, and sonorities of their music culture. This process was inspired by Paulo Freire’s dialogical methods. It was conducted with community members of several ages and musical experience in a workshop over two months. The designed instruments were preliminary evaluated by community members in an informal context. The implications of this work, apart from creating instruments in conjunction with their final players, include an attempt to inspire a new bottom-up design process centered on existing communities situated in specific music cultures.

Publication Details:

Conference Paper