A few days ago I posted a snapshot of my slides that read, 'Soundscape of Canada'. That probably gives the impression that I am doing an arts degree, confusing the life out of those who know me, knowing full well that I am sponsored to do a technology degree.
Okay, here's the thing. What I am doing is interdisciplinary, which I believe almost all PhDs are like. It's a combination of Computing and Music. To cut a long story short, I am looking at techniques to improve the accuracy of a target-based concatenation through its query-retrieval process. Nak cerita lebih2 lom bole lg, work in progress, nnt kalo dah siap kita story2 lg eh ...
One difference that I notice how they do it in the UK is that generally, PhD students are not really sorted into faculty or departments like they do in Msia, but they belong to a particular research group. That means that dlm satu group tu, ada mcm2 background member nya, hence quite diverse jgk la research yg berlangsung dlm lab tersebut.
So in my research group, ada a good mix of people from different strength and background: Music, Computing, Engineering, Mathematics, Psychology, etc. Amik sahaja example PhD theses yg telah dihasilkan from this lab: Marc's was on Music Accompaniment System (computer to play together with human in real-time), Leo was on Biomechanism of Idiomatic Guitar Playing (robotic), Pete was on Virtual Robotics (model of human's musical intelligence), and Al was on Algorithmic Composition using Multi Agent System.
It is a technical group, but at the same time majority ahli nya knows how to play at least one musical instrument and are also composing their own stuff for fun and some even for money. Kalo ikut collaboration plak, ada dgn group Neuroscience, Robotics, Marine Sciences, Physics, etc. Yg terbaru ni projek Cloud Chamber Music ni, buat kat dlm lab last Friday, aku terus x masuk lab sebab ada risiko radiation yg kecil, and the lab was locked over the weekend. Monday ni dah ok la Insya Allah.
A lot of benefits jgk duk dlm group mcm ni, for instance Gamelan class tu la, otherwise I wouldn;t have known a thing, would I? Secondly, mmg bykkkkk sgt offer classical concerts and performances, tp aku aje yg x sempat pegi huhu... Thirdly, is contacts la, kalo lps ni mmg nak berkecimpung dlm bidang Arts mmg you have enough peluang utk see VIPs in music here, and also dpt develop rapport yg bagus bila ada music festival or music conferences anjuran uni.
Ok back on to the misleading slide (Soundscape of Canada), tu hanya lah part kecik yg aku cakapkan on that day. The purpose of my seminar was to share the knowledge that I got from the Summer school in Barcelona last July, and I was actually explaining the work of a Canadian composer, Barry Tru*ax, tu yg kuar slide tu. In my humblest opinion, adalah sgt susah nak cerita psl kerja org ni, adalah jauh lebih senang bercakap psl projek kita sendiri. Setakat nak parrot kan keja org bole la, tp nak ulas lanjut2 siap add idea and interpretation kita sendiri adalah sgt mencabar fuh!
Apapon it's a good skill to learn along the way, sbb nanti kalo nak tulis a review paper pon proses dia adalah lebih kurg sama. Overall, the seminar on Thursday was so-so, x ramai yg dpt hadir sbb ada another music conference berlangsung, and also there was a slight glitch with the sound system yg membuatkan aku sket hangin. But it was all for a good cause, and I hope the MRes students benefit from it. (Sini panggil budak buat Master by Research as MRes, prononunced Am.Rest)