Atau Tanaka conducts research in embodied musical interaction. This work takes place at the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and gestural computer music performance. Atau’s first inspirations came upon meeting John Cage during his Norton Lectures at Harvard and would go to on re-create Cage’s Variations VII with Matt Wand and :zoviet*france: in 2008. In the 1990s he formed Sensorband with Zbigniew Karkowski and Edwin van der Heide and in the Japanoise scene he has played alongside artists like Merzbow, Otomo, KK Null and others. In his research, Atau studies our encounters with sound, be they in music or in the everyday, as a form of phenomenological experience. This includes the use of physiological sensing technologies, notably muscle tension in the electromyogram signal, and machine learning analysis of this complex, organic data. At the other extreme, he studies user experience through ethnographic methods of participatory design where activities of workshopping, scenario building, and structured brainstorming lead an understanding of a mediums affordances in bottom-up, emergent ways. Atau has been Artistic Ambassador at Apple, and researcher at IRCAM and at Sony Computer Science Laboratory. His work has been supported by the European Research Council (ERC). He is professor at Goldsmiths, University of London.
(Photo credit: Pierre Bouvier)