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Latest Blogs for Building City Dashboards Project.

It was a busy month in November. I’ve talked about some of my most recent work for the Building City Dashboards project at Maynooth University on the following pages…



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Paul O’Donnell’s Jazz World Ensemble.

I am pleased to announce that Paul O’Donnell‘s Jazz World Ensemble will be releasing a new album called “Thin Lines” at the Cork Jazz Festival 2017. A short demo of what’s on the album is available on SoundCloud here and you can catch the ensemble live in Cork (Ireland) on the following dates…

The Granary Theatre Cork – Friday October 27th @ 1.10 pm.
The Metropole Hotel (MacCurtain Street) – Friday October 27th @ 9.45 pm.
The Metropole Hotel (MacCurtain Street) – Saturday October 28th @ 3.00 pm.

You can also check out the first album we worked on together here.

Who’s on the new Thin Lines album?

Paul O’Donnell (Ireland) – Keyboard.
Niwel Tsumbu (DR Congo) – Guitar and Percussion.
Eamonn Cagney (Ireland) – Percussion.
Peter Erdei (Hungary) – Bass.
Tomas Gall (Slovakia) – Drum Kit.
Nick Roth (Ireland) – Soprano and Alto Sax.
Claudia Schwab (Austria) – Fiddle.
Matthias Schriefl (Germany) – Trumpet.
Dora Gola (Poland) – Vocals.

All compositions by Paul O’Donnell.
Recorded at the Western Gateway Building, UCC, on November 30th, 2016.
Engineered and mastered By Dr. Gareth W. Young.
Mixed, edited, and produced by Dr. Gareth W. Young and Paul O’Donnell.

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Urban Data and Media Art Seminar: August 28th, 2017.

A seminar to explore existing and potential modes and methodologies of creative data visualisation both of and in the city.

The Building City Dashboards Project is pleased to announce that it will be hosting its first research seminar: Urban Data and Media Art. The seminar will take place on the 28th of August, 2017, in Room 2.31, Iontas Building, North Campus, Maynooth University, Maynooth, Kildare. You are invited to register for attend the event (for free) on the project Eventbrite page below. The seminar will begin at 11 am with talks from Dr. Maria MenciaDr. Marcos Dias, and Camille Dongan.


Dr. Maria Mencia (@mariaFmencia) is a media artist/e-poet, practice-based researcher and teaches in the School of Performance and Screen Studies at Kingston University (London, UK) where she is also an executive committee member of The Creative Process Research Unit . Mencía is a pioneer in digital poetry and her PhD in Digital Poetics and Digital Art at Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts-London (2000-2003), was one of the first doctorates in the field of electronic literature. She studied English Philology at the Complutense University in Madrid, Fine Art & Design and History and Theory of Art at the University of the Arts London. Her practice-based research is at the intersection of language, art and digital technology. It explores multimodal digital textualities, digital media grammars, virtual poetic spaces and the reader’s/viewer’s engagement. It is trans-disciplinary, bringing together different cultural, artistic and literary traditions such as: linguistics, translation, fine art, visual, concrete and sound poetry, with digital poetics, electronic writing, creative programming, interaction and interface design, new media art theories and practices. Her practice includes interactive digital media installations, performances, web-based works, sound-generated poems, interactive generative narratives and data visualisation poetics. She is an Executive Member of the Electronic Literature Organization Board of Directors (ELO).


Dr. Marcos Dias (@mpdias) is a lecturer in Media Studies and co-coordinator of the Masters (MA) in Critical and Creative Media in Maynooth University. He graduated from the School of Culture and Communication in the University of Melbourne in 2015 with a PhD in Media Studies. Marcos’s PhD thesis is a multidisciplinary investigation of the social and spatial impact of digital technologies in the contemporary mediated city through ethnographic research on Blast Theory’s participatory art project A Machine To See With. His main research focus is the analysis of contemporary social and spatial exchanges mediated by digital technologies in urban space. His educational background includes a BA in Architecture and City Planning (University of Sao Paulo), a BA in Digital Media Design and Production (Letterkenny Institute of Technology) and a MSc in Interactive Digital Media (Trinity College). Marcos has previously worked as an architect and web designer and he was an Editorial Board Member of the Platform Journal of Media and Communications (2010-2011).


Camille Dongan (@VRCamillecom) is a Virtual Reality consultant and content producer with 15 year parallel careers in both technology and the arts (theatre, film, radio). Since discovering Virtual Reality 2 ½ years ago, and realising the potential for this immersive medium, she has been researching and developing concepts for how Virtual Reality can impact our experiences at work and at play. Camille runs VR and AR (Augmented Reality) talks and workshops for clients across a variety of sectors including entertainment, fintech, design and academia. Camille runs a VR meetup called VR Community Ireland where a group of artists, technologists, psychologists, academics and VR enthusiasts meet up to explore the new storytelling possibilities presented by VR and AR. Camille works as a creative tech producer with vStream where she produces AR and VR applications for brands.



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NIME 2017

I’m pleased to announce that my research paper “A Qualitative Analysis of Haptic Feedback in Music Focused Exercises,” will appear in the 2017 NIME conference proceedings. New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) is a highly respected, international conference dedicated to academic research applied in the development and investigation of creative applications of technologies and their role in artistic conceptualisations, expression, and performance. During the conference, researchers and musicians will gather to share their knowledge and recent work on new interface designs and evaluation techniques. I will be presenting at the conference on Wednesday, May 17th in the Papers 6: Musical HCI strand at 11:00 – 12:30.

See you there!

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PhD Thesis Available.

My PhD thesis is now available to read on the UCC CORA website:

Human-Computer Interaction Methodologies Applied in the Evaluation of Haptic Digital Musical Instruments.

Developments in Music Technology have seen major changes in the manner in which artists, performers, and creatives interact with digital technology; this is arguably due to the increasing variety of digital technologies that are readily available today. Digital Musical Instruments (DMIs) present musicians with performance challenges that are unique to Computer Music. One of the most significant deviations from conventional acoustic musical instruments is the level of physical feedback conveyed by the instrument back to the user. Currently, new interfaces for musical expression are not designed to be as physically communicative as acoustic instruments. DMIs are often void of physical feedback and therefore lack the ability to impart important performance information to the user. Moreover, there is currently no standardised way to measure the effects of this deficit. In a design context, best practice would expect that there should be a set of methods to effectively, repeatedly, and quantifiably evaluate the various elements of functionality, usability, and user experience involved in a DMI interaction. Earlier applications of haptics have tried to address device performance issues associated with the lack of feedback in digital device designs and it is argued that the level of haptic feedback presented to a user can significantly affect the user’s overall emotive feeling towards a musical device. In my research I explored a number of techniques in which physicality could be reintroduced to digital interactions with musical devices. I conducted psychophysiological studies that measured the effects of vibration, designed an evaluation framework that could be applied to musical instruments, and presented functional and longitudinal studies that applied the framework in the evaluation of haptics applied in Computer Music.

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Irish HCI 2016

Very pleased to have been able to contribute to the days proceedings at iHIC 2016 in Cork.

I was first up to present my research “Usability Testing of Video Game Controllers: A case study” and after that I discussed The Design of Tangible Digital Musical Instruments in the poster session that followed.




A very interesting day with friends new and old.

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EuroHaptics 2016

Many thanks to the organisers and attendees at EuroHaptics 2016. I had a great time at all the workshops and thoroughly enjoyed presenting to the delegates of the Musical haptics: use and relevance of haptic feedback in musical practice workshop. A few pictures from the day can be seen here and my presentation abstract can be seen below.

Quantifying The Effects of Haptic Feedback on DMI Functionality, Usability, and User Experience.
Interactions with acoustic musical instruments require musicians to be fully aware of how the instrument is reacting to their gestures in real-time. This is achieved by the musician’s awareness of instrument feedback. Arguably, the most important aspect of acoustic instrument feedback is delivered in the form of auditory responses and haptic feedback. In many virtual or digital instruments, this closed feedback loop is not present. Therefore, musicians are forced to rely on fewer of their senses to gauge the effect of their interaction upon the device they are using. In haptically enabled DMIs this is no longer an issue as feedback can be simulated via the inclusion of specific actuators and transducers in the device design process. With the separation of these elements, we are now able to explore the individual effects of each haptic element upon a user’s perception of functionality, usability, and the overall user’s experience. To achieve this, it has been observed that conventional HCI techniques can be applied in DMI analysis. However, these techniques are themselves restrictive in their application to creative endeavours. In this workshop, questions will be raised relating to the different analysis techniques that can be applied in a device analysis along with the possibility of quantifying the various aspects of devices that are used to create music with. It is hoped that through the discussion of device evaluation techniques applied in other areas of digital technology, validated evaluation practices for haptic DMI devices may be formulated and a formal measure of effects of haptic feedback in this area can be achieved.

Gareth Young
University College Cork, Ireland

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The tale of old ITT Schaub-Lorenz SL58 Super.

Here’s something interesting I’ve been fiddling with recently. A friend of mine asked me to refurbish his old tape deck, an old ITT Schaub-Lorenz SL58 Super. He wanted to record onto and then off again, capturing the compression, noise and warmth that only tape can bring to the table. I think that most of us pre-90’s oldies can remember playing games with such fun tape decks as kids. Be it radio time or story telling, we all recognised the limitless potential of a tape recorder, so why now are these fantastic devices gathering dust around at your grannies or at the back of a cupboard? I blame “the” digital myself.

After cleaning out the dust and spiders that had set up home inside. I dropped in a small filter circuit to replace the three-wire electret microphone capsule, allowing for a direct line in. This was just as well because the capsule snapped off shortly after starting (oops). I then rewired the output through a switched jack plug giving the option to use the inbuilt speaker or the line out. Both in/out routes had to be put through 3.5 mm sockets due to the limited space available inside the deck. I had a quick jam with it and was quite pleased with the hissing, popping and general squashing of whatever I hammered into it. Success!

I can’t wait to hear what Keith comes up with to put it to use!

Check out his website and band here:

Pictures of the job below.



Ditch that digital and reuse your analogue!


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The Cast of Cheers

The Cast of Cheers

The Cast of Cheers brightened up a rainy Sunday down in Dublin’s Forbidden Fruit festival this weekend. Good times and even better times had catching up with the Swords Massive!

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June 5, 2012 · 7:57 pm

IBook Available for Ipad

As promised, here’s the link for the iBook 2 publication.

Digital Arts & Humanities: Scholarly Reflections

by James O’Sullivan, Sara Goek, Rachel Murphy, Gareth Young, Sara Wenthworth, Mary Galvin, Luke Kirwan & Giorgio Guzzetta


Read, think, comment…

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June 1, 2012 · 9:47 pm