Experimenting with Open Research Experiments

Keywords: open research, music, performance, open access, open science, open data


Keynote presentation.

Is it possible to do experimental music research completely openly? And what can we gain by opening up the research process from beginning to end? In the talk I will present MusicLab, an open research project at the University of Oslo. The aim is to explore new methods for conducting research, research communication, and education. Each MusicLab event is organized around a public music performance, during which we collect data from both musicians and audience members. Here we explore different types of sensing systems that work in real-world contexts, such as breathing, heartbeat, muscle tension, or motion. The events also contain an edutainment element through panel discussions as well as "data jockeying" in the form of live data analysis. The collected data is made publicly available, and forms the basis for further analysis and publications after the event. Opening up the research process is conceptually, practically, and technologically challenging for everyone involved. The benefit is that it has helped us solve a number of issues when it comes to GDPR and copyright. It has also pushed our research in directions that we previously had never thought about, and helped us communicate this to new users.

Author Biography

Alexander Refsum Jensenius, University of Oslo

Dr. Alexander Refsum Jensenius is at the Department of Musicology and Deputy Director at the RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion at the University of Oslo. Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician. His research focuses on why music makes us move, which he explores through empirical studies using different types of motion sensing technologies. He also uses the analytic knowledge and tools in the creation of new music, with both traditional and very untraditional instruments. As chair of the NIME steering committee, he is a leading figure in the international computer music community. From 2017 he co-directs RITMO Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Rhythm, Time and Motion, an interdisciplinary centre of excellence at the University of Oslo. As a member of the Young Academy of Norway and the EUA Open Science Committee, he is also involved in pushing for modernizing the way research is conceived and conducted.