SMC 2011

Rencon Workshop

Rencon (Performance Rendering Contest) is a research project that organizes contests for computer systems generating expressive musical performances.

Professional performers estimate the composer's intention behind the work, form their own performance plan, and generate performances with their excellent skill. Even though the capability of computer software to play chess surpasses human professionals, the capability to play musical instruments has not reached the level of human professional performers. A lot of issues should be solved, including how to deal with intention, affection etc.

Subjective evaluation of generated performances is important for research on automatic performance generation systems. Evaluation by contests, where various systems gather and compete against one another, stimulates scientific progress. Rencon was started in 2002 from this perspective. Nine Rencon workshops have been held since then. Each workshop hosts a competition where systems have to generate performances of newly created musical pieces on site. The aim of such contests is to aid the improvement of performance rendering techniques. More details about Rencon can be found here.

Call for participation

The Rencon Workshop 2011 (SMC-Rencon) will be a special event of SMC2011 on July 6, 2011.
SMC-Rencon is going to have two evaluation stages. Participants can submit to either or both of the performances. The SMC-Rencon Award will be given to the system receiving the highest total points (Stage I and II). We are planning to broadcast the performances of Stage II on the Internet. People who watch it in real time will be able to join the online voting.

Stage I

[newly-composed piece, offline, blind listening, and expert musicians' evaluation]

  • Date: March 27-28 on the Internet
  • Set piece: a newly composed piano piece around one minute
  • Focus: musicality and technical quality
  • How to submit: E-mail the generated performances in SMF format.
  • Rendering duration: two days
  • Performance environment: Piano (Acoustic Piano), YAMAHA MOTIF-RACK XS (MIDI synthesizer)
  • Evaluation: Artistic impression (by music juries) and technical merit (by technical committee)

Stage II

[on-site performance rendering, two-way styling, non-blind listening, and audience's voting evaluation]

  • Date: July 6 at SMC conference venue
  • Set piece: existing piano piece, indicated on the day
  • Focus: rendering two expressive performances with different styles
  • How to submit: On-site generating performance at the venue
  • Rendering duration: around one hour
  • Participants of the autonomous section are not allowed to listen to the sound
  • Performance environment: YAMAHA Disklavier
  • Evaluation by:
    1. SMC participants (most of them are researchers of music and technology)
    2. streaming video watchers (in the planning stage)
All the information regarding the call for participation, the submission process, and the Program Committee can be found at the SMC-Rencon homepage.

Important dates

  • Mar. 21st, 2011 Pre-entry
  • Mar. 27th 00:00 (UTC +1 (CET)), 2011 Rencon submission open
  • Mar. 28th 24:00 (UTC +1 (CET)), 2011 Rencon submission deadline
  • May 6th, 2011 1st stage result announcement
  • Jul. 6th, 2011 Rencon Workshop
  • Jul. 6-9th, 2011 SMC 2011

Organized by
SaMPL Conservatory

With the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union