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:

Student Collaboration on Computational Metrics for Machine Translation

Welcome onboard to Julia Hershey, who is an undergraduate student at the Department of Cognitive Sciences at UCI and member of the COmputational LAnguage LABoratory (CoLaLab).

Julia has joined the project and started working on computational metrics and tools for extracting, formatting and evaluating music lyrics, in order to realize the linguistic component of the Musical-Moods database.

SURP fellowship awarded!


Team leader Alissa Powers, already working in Musical-Moods as part of her Honor project, has been awarded a SURP fellowship to carry out further research and develop an innovative Game With A Purpose!

The Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) provides funding for UCI undergraduates from all disciplines who are conducting summer research projects or creative activities under the guidance of UCI faculty members.

Congratulations to Alissa and happy SURPing!

Research group on music mood classification

classifications-comparisonFrom March to July 2016, I have been directing a research group on music mood classification at the Department of Electronic Engineering of the University of Rome Tor Vergata, under the supervision of Prof. Giovanni Costantini.

The group includes the graduate students Daniele Giardino and Marco Matta, as well as the researchers Natalia Pichierri and Dr. Daniele Casali. A correlation between existing approaches to the annotation, feature extraction and classification of music files in terms of moods. The new domain knowledge will be used to define our next tools.

Advised research group wins ICS engineering competition!


In the last four months, I have been advising a group of PhD students from the Department of Engineering at UCI. They name themselves WeGroove and are working on a new music recommendation system by using audio classification and feature extraction on motion data.

I am proud to announce that they have just won 2nd in the Butterworth Product Development Competition in ICS at the Donald Bren School at UCI, and received $5000 award!

Teaching and Rehearsing Improvisation in Dance Class


Rehearsals for the summer activities have started. I am co-teaching the class “Dance Improvisation” with Prof. Lisa Naugle and working on a mood-based taxonomy of relations between music, dance and moods through VIVO ( These rehearsals will support the realization of an interactive and intermedia piece to be presented on September 30 at Tor Bella Monaca Theatre in Rome, for the first international meeting of the project “Music, Computation and Emotions”.

Honors project on mood detection in music lyrics

Team leader Alissa Powers, under the supervision of Prof. Lisa Pearl and my direction, is working on aspects of the project related to an innovative game-with-a-purpose (GWAP) for language and music classification by exploiting the wisdom of the crowd phenomenon. These aspects include carrying out research on the GWAP, designing the game and the computational infrastructure, programming the software tool, providing user feedback on early implementations and promoting the GWAP to potential GWAP players. Alissa’s work is also part of her Honors project.