Course: Mood Technology for Creative Practice

In Spring 2017, I have designed and offered a new course at UC Irvine, in the School of the Arts, at the Department of Dance: “Mood Technology for Creative Practice”. The course will be available again to all UCI students, this coming fall.

The following is an extract from the Syllabus of the course.

The course is an interdisciplinary introduction to media technology of next generation that can interact in terms of moods, with a specific focus on interactive music systems, motion capture technology and dance, taught by Dr. Fabio Paolizzo.

This course will provide the opportunity to work with and learn from Dr. Paolizzo, visiting scholar and principal investigator of the Musical-Moods project. The project is aimed at the development of an online database of music scores, music lyrics, audio excerpts, vector-based 3D animations and dance video recordings, indexed by mood for next generation of media technology. The course covers the basic principles and implications of bridging the creative and the technical in contemporary society. The Musical-Moods project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 659434.

Upper-level undergraduate and graduate students in Music or Dance will get out of the course a solid understanding of existing and emerging approaches to innovative creative practices leveraging on state of the art technology. Students will have freedom of choice in focusing on the technological aspects of the project or participating as dancers and be featured with the project.

Students will foster knowledge and skills to experiment successfully with improvisation of dance and music, analyze creative performances, acquire experience with dance and music for motion capture technology, as well as inspire new approaches to machine learning in real world scenarios.

The course is focused on hands-on collaborative research activities and/or creative practice. No advanced knowledge of technology is expected.

Sempre Libera 2, Embodied

The theater of Tor Bella Monaca in Rome and University of Rome Tor Vergata, in collaboration with UC Irvine, present “Sempre Libera 2, Embodied”. This international concert of electroacoustic music, dance and live video design adopts next-generation technologies developed within the Musical-Moods project.

The event will be preceded by a meeting with the author, Dr. Fabio Paolizzo, and the artists. In the meeting, special focus will be given to the aesthetics of the work, as well as to the technologies of motion capture and computational creativity adopted for its realization.
Sempre Libera 2, Embodied” is the last interactive compostion of Fabio Paolizzo. The work draws from “La Traviata” by Giuseppe Verdi.

with Moods Ensemble

►Fabio Paolizzo | VIVO interactive music system, composition
►Alipio C Neto | Tenor Saxophone

with the participation of:
► John Crawford | Active Space intermedia performance system, live video design
►Lisa Naugle | Choreography
► DTM2 | Dance ensemble

The event is organized in collaboration with the Master in Sonic Arts of the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

For tickets and directions:


On Saturday April 1st, 2017, JamXchange culminated with a Jam session with live music – open to all dancers of every living rhythmized genre. Event started at 10am with Hip Hop with Cyrian Reed, along with other guests presenters Sakina Ibrahim, Darlisa Wajid-Ali, Erin Landry and Moncell IllKozby Durden to celebrate the nation’s Jazz Appreciation Month.

I was happy to join the Jam session as a live music performer using VIVO interactive music system.

Moods Ensemble


The Moods Ensemble was born as part the Musical-Moods project, with the aim of investigating the expression of moods in music composition, improvisation and interactive music systems of next generation.

Members of the ensemble are:
Giancarlo Schiaffini (Trombone)
Eugenio Colombo (Alto saxophone)
Francesco Lo Cascio (Vibraphone)
Alípio C Neto (Tenor saxophone, Conduction)
Fabio Paolizzo (VIVO interactive music system, Composition)

Sempre Libera / Always Free

The theatre of Tor Bella Monaca in Rome and University of Rome Tor Vergata present “Sempre Libera / Always Free”, an international concert in telepresence with UC Irvine. Music, dance and video will combine in a unique interplay featuring interactive technologies of next-generation, developed as part of the Musical-Moods project. A round table on the project, with both the universities and the audience, will precede the performance. Special focus will be given to computational creativity and music emotion research.

Sempre Libera / Always Free is the last work of Fabio Paolizzo. The composition draws from La Traviata of Giuseppe Verdi.

with Moods Ensemble:
* Giancarlo Schiaffini
* Eugenio Colombo
Alto saxophone
* Francesco Lo Cascio
* Alipio C Neto
Tenor saxophone, Conductor
* Fabio Paolizzo
VIVO interactive music system, Composer

In collaboration with:
* Lisa Naugle
Choreographer, DTM2 dance ensemble
* John Crawford
Active Space intermedia performance system, Video designer

The event is organized in partnership with the Master in Sonic Arts of the Department of History, Humanities and Society at University of Rome Tor Vergata.

For tickets:

photo by Skye Janel Schmidt

Talk and Performance at “Pathways to Possible Worlds”


On May 27th I gave a Question & Answer session and a performance at “Pathways to Possible Worlds: Science Fiction and Sustainability” at the Calit2 building at UCI. I discussed how the technology under development in the Musical-Moods project can be used to build new tools for partecipative democracy, as well as to increase collective awareness and emotional intelligence in the global discourse.

Event Website:

This day-long event explored the interplay between science fiction and sustainability in policy, public opinion, popular culture and practice with artists and researchers working with science fictionality. Science fiction has always proven a fertile meeting ground for the natural and social sciences and the humanities, and issues of sustainability and the future demand broad-reaching, cross-disciplinary thinking. In this workshop, science fiction authors join in conversation with students and faculty to reflect on the logic of sustainability within the realm of science fiction. What kind of choices lead to one kind of world or the other, and what effects do the depiction of these choices have on actions in the present? Can science fiction and its critical methodologies allow a greater immersion into science fictionality as a conceptual mode for reflecting on the future? What pathways to possible worlds do we see stretching before us, and how might we influence where they lead?

* Jonathan Alexander
* Gregory Benford
* Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay
* Anil Menon
* Fabio Paolizzo
* Josh Tanenbaum
* Sherryl Vint

Preparing for EMERSE

At UCI, preparations for the EMERSE project have started. We have been working with a number of classes in preparation for the project. These include “Dance improvisation” by Prof. Lisa Naugle, “Video for Dance” by Prof. John Crawford,  “Interface Ensemble” by Prof. Chad Michael Hall. In these classes, I have also presented the interactive music system VIVO, which I will be using for real-time music-making with dancers and audience in the project, together with live guitar improvisation. The meetings feature Norman Beede‘s piano interplay, as well as Prof. Alan Terriciano‘s original composition for the project.

In terms of the Musical-Moods project, the EMERSE activities are useful to evaluate the use of interactive music systems, such as VIVO and Active Space, to operate in terms of multimodality with different types of audience (scientists, artists, general public), dancers, musicians, immersive interactions, experimental visualizations and sonifications of a large-scale dataset.

A first series of informal open workshops will take place for the EMERSE project, which is being developed by director and media designer John Crawford in collaboration with colleagues and students from across the campus. These workshops are in preparation for an arts installation project planned for the 2016-17 school year which will trace relationships between humans and oceans, and in particular the contrasts and complexities of California’s coastal interface, using advanced digital media and performance techniques. Digital media captured from the California coastline will be interleaved with experimental visualization and sonification of ocean data, activated through human movement. “EMERSE” refers to “emerging” understanding that develops through “immersion” in this interactive visual and auditory environment. In these workshops, we will demonstrate and discuss some of the digital media systems being employed in this project.

The EMERSE workshops are being held:

Wednesday January 20, 4—8pm
Thursday January 21, 4—8pm
Friday January 22, 4—8pm

The location is the Experimental Media Lab (xMPL) on the first floor of the Contemporary Arts Center, building #721 on the main UCI campus map.

Produced with the support of the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the Dance Department and the OCEANS Initiative at University of California, Irvine.

Musical-Moods starts today!

The Musical-Moods project is a Marie-Curie Action – Global Fellowship, which has received funding for over EUR 244K by the European Commission. The project aims at the development of a mood-indexed and multimodal database for interactive music systems of next generation. These systems will have use in various applications, such as profiling of users and databases for creative and media industries, improving access for citizens and researchers to musical heritage, services for audio on demand, education and training activities, music therapy, and music making.

The research approach comprises multidisciplinary tools and methods from a broad range of disciplines, including sciences (cognitive science, human-computer interaction, machine learning, natural language processing, signal processing), arts (music, dance, motion capture and 3D animation) and humanities (musicology, history of music, philosophy).

We encourage faculty and graduate students to join the discussion groups and participate in the activities.

Musical-Moods will start on December 1 2015

The project start date has been set! On December 1 2015, Musical-Moods will start. I will be hosted for two years at University of California Irvine, Dept. of Cognitive Sciences and Dept. of Dance, as a Post-doc in both the departments. I will also maintain my role of Post-doc researcher at the Dept. of Electronic Engineering at University of Rome Tor Vergata, where I will return in the third year of the project.

My role as Scientific Coordinator and Principal Investigator will be supervised by Prof. Lisa Pearl, who is associate professor at the Dept. of Cognitive Sciences, as well as Director of the Computational Language Laboratory, for activities to be carried out within the lab. Prof. John Crawford will act as Project Adviser. Furthermore, I will work together with faculty and graduate students at the Performance Capture Studio at the Dept. of Dance, which will serve as our headquarters at Claire Trevor School of the Arts at UCI.