Rencon (Performance Rendering Contest) is a research project that organizes contests for computer systems generating expressive musical performances.
In the field of computer science, evaluations of systems are required. Because sensuousness and beauty is important for music, a subjective evaluation of generated performances is important for research on performance generation systems. Evaluation by contests where various systems gather and compete against one another will stimulate the scientific efforts. Rencon was started in 2002 from this perspective. We held six workshops both domestically and internationally and had valuable discussions.
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. We have a lot of issues that should be solved, including how to deal with intention, affection etc.
The recent developments of research, however, gradually begin to clarify the thought process of performance generation; some recent systems generate performances that are hardly distinguishable from human ones. In the 2008 Rencon, we have a plan for a competition where systems have to generate performances of newly created musical piece on site. We aim for improvement of performance rendering techniques through such contests. At the same time, we would like to deal with performance interfaces for expression by humans.
We would like to contribute to the modeling techniques of human mental activities, formulation of expression in musical performances and its application to education, and creation of novel music enjoyment. We hope to let many people know about performance generation systems.