Innovations in Visualization

Lawrence Fyfe

I am an artist, creative coder, and musician with a PhD in Computational Media Design, an interdisciplinary program that combines the arts, design, and computer science. I was co-supervised by Sheelagh Carpendale from computer science and David Eagle from music.

My research is focused on designing and building software toolkits that enable creative applications with a focus on designing and building distributed music performance systems. I am particularly interested in the research problem of designing software to balance the often-conflicting goals of providing functionality with the need to enable creativity and flexibility. The result of this research is JunctionBox, an interaction design toolkit for building multi-touch sound and music control interfaces.

I am also a performer and sound artist. I am one of the founding members of Aspect, an ensemble dedicated to performances that combine audio and visuals in a variety of ways. My sound art practice revolves around the use of lo-fi sound samples and the exploration of dissonant synthetic soundscapes.

Curriculum vitae

Contact: ljfyfe

Performing with a multi-touch table for a workshop at Stanford University.


Creative Programming for Digital Media




Aspect Ensemble

The Nexus Data Exchange Format Specification

The Lo-Fi Collection

The Lo-Fi Collection is a series of low-fidelity sound experiments that I created during my graduate school years from 2007-2015. Each of the tracks is a different experiment in playing with sound materials, process, or structure. For all of the tracks, I was interested in exploring unusual sound materials either via sampled recordings or synthesized sounds.

The Lo-Fi Collection (Bandcamp)

"Ghost of a Piano" was played on radio station CJSW:

The New New Classics

Ensemble Performances


  • International Computer Music Conference - Sound and Music Computing (ICMC-SMC) | September 16, 2014 | Athens, Greece

At the joint ICMC-SMC conference, Aspect performed Simon Fay's piece, _under_scored_. The piece is Jazz fusion and features Simon on guitar, Aura on oboe, and Lawrence on a multi-touch tablet. This performance features three generations of instrument from acoustic to analog electric to digital. In addition, each performer used some part of his or her own research in the performance.

  • Coast X Coast | February 16, 2014 | University of Calgary

The concert featured four Canadian composers from coast to coast. Aspect performed Aura Pon's piece Concordia Discors for three phones and visual score.

  • Computational Media Design Workshop | March 2, 2013 | Banff Centre

The first public performance of the Aspect ensemble. In this performance, the ensemble improvised using a digitized film version of Alice in Wonderland (1903) as a visual score.


  • CEC 25th Anniversary Concert | Novermber 22, 2011 | University of Calgary

For this concert, CanDLE (Canada Distributed Laptop Ensemble) members in Calgary and Hamilton performed together over the internet. The Syneme Lab in Calgary hosted the event in collaboration with the Cybernetic Orchestra in Hamilton. The concert was part of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community's (CEC's) 25th anniversary tour. A description of the event can be found in issue 15.3 of the CEC's eContact! journal.

CanDLE Performance with 2-city Telematic Link (YouTube)

Performed Works

Sol Aur (Stereo, fixed media)

  • Linux Audio Conference | April 13, 2012 | Stanford University

Sol Aur is an exploration of the use of FM synthesis. It also serves as a vehicle for the Orrerator control interface. Sound for Sol Aur is generated by four FM oscillators in Pd, with each oscillator being detuned from a base frequency. By changing the tuning, the index of modulation, and the modulation frequency, many combinations of FM sounds can be created and shifted over the course of the piece.

Number Relations (Stereo, fixed media)

  • Sounding Out 5 | September 9, 2010 | Bournemouth, UK

Aside from the opening bomb blast from one of the first nuclear tests, all of the material in this piece comes from recordings of numbers stations. The numbers stations are thought to be some sort of code used to communicate with spies during the Cold War. They were often just recordings of people reading out numbers, sometimes including little tunes. This piece is a very rough approximation of the course of the cold war from the first nuclear test to the fall of the Berlin Wall represented through numbers station snippets. American and Russian recordings are panned to the extreme left and right with German, Czech, and Spanish recordings in the middle.


Distance 2 (Toshi Ichiyanagi)

  • Interpreter: The Abstraction of Narrative through Interactive Digital Rendering Systems | February 6-27, 2015 | University of Calgary

Distance 2 is inspired by Toshi Ichiyanagi's composition "Distance" in which the performer must be a fixed distance away from the instrument during the performance. For this installation, the notion of distance is conceptual rather than actual. The piece is interactive with an interface that represents the concept of distance via a series of numbered tiles can be moved across the interface with each tile representing a selection from an interview with Toshi Ichiyanagi. The tiles can be played back at varying speeds from normal to eight times normal playback rate. This playback rate change represents the distance from the original recording.


Lawrence Fyfe. JunctionBox: A Multi-touch Interaction Mapping Toolkit for Creating Musical Interfaces. PhD thesis, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, August, 2015. PDF Paper
Lawrence Fyfe, Adam Tindale and Sheelagh Carpendale. Extending the Nexus Data Exchange Format (NDEF) Specification. In Proceedings of the Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, pages 343-346, 2014. PDF Paper
Lawrence Fyfe, Adam Tindale and Sheelagh Carpendale. Node and Message Management with the JunctionBox Interaction Toolkit. In Proceedings of the Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, pages 520-521, 2012. PDF Paper
Lawrence Fyfe, Adam Tindale and Sheelagh Carpendale. JunctionBox for Android: An Interaction Toolkit for Android-based Mobile Devices. In Proceedings of the Linux Audio Conference, pages 89-92, 2012. PDF Paper
Lawrence Fyfe, Adam Tindale and Sheelagh Carpendale. JunctionBox: A Toolkit for Creating Multi-touch Sound Control Interfaces. In Proceedings of the Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, pages 276-279, 2011. PDF Paper
Lawrence Fyfe, Sean Lynch, Carmen Hull and Sheelagh Carpendale. SurfaceMusic: Mapping Virtual Touch-based Instruments to Physical Models. In Proceedings of the Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, pages 360-363, 2010. PDF Paper


JunctionBox: A Toolkit for Creating Networked Multi-touch Control Interfaces. Presented at the Graduate Music Colloquium 11, September 20, 2013.

The JunctionBox Interaction Design Toolkit: Making interaction programming easier to allow for sketching with sound. Poster presented at the GRAND Conference, May 14, 2013. Poster

The Development of the JunctionBox Interaction Toolkit, Presented at the Computational Media Design Workshop, Banff Centre, March 2, 2013.

Music and Practice-based Research: Making Research More Creative and Putting More Research into Creativity, Confounding Expectations Graduate Student Conference, University of Calgary, May 15, 2012. Abstract

JunctionBox for Android: An Interaction Toolkit for Android-based Mobile Devices. Linux Audio Conference, April 12, 2012. Video Slides

JunctionBox Demo, Presented at the Happening Festival, University of Calgary, January 27, 2012.


Online Jamming and the Art of the Network: An Interview with Chris Chafe and Lawrence Fyfe, November 19th, 2015.

A Report from the Linux Audio Conference, May 2, 2012.