Jun (Stefan) Quan Choo

  • junquan.choo@hdr.qut.edu.au

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Area of interest: Embodied music interaction, wearables, music, wellbeing, mobilities

Masters of Engineering (National University of Singapore)
Graduate Certificate (Management of Technology)
Bachelors of Engineering (Hons) (National University of Singapore)

My research explores the topic ‘Tuning-in’ to music to ‘tune out’ on-the-go.

Music moves people. People physicalize movement- tap their feet, play “air-piano” or imagine gestures through the use of portable music devices. Australians in commute are ‘tuning-in’ music to ‘tune-out’ stresses and noise; constituting one-fifth of their daily use of music. Research in music perception seldom address this interplay between people, music, commute and draw little reference to emerging design of portable music devices- headphones and haptics.

This research studied how these devices mediate people’s movements and interactions with music and how can devices be improved to augment embodied experiences and wellbeing for people’s use in contexts like on-the-go. Results suggest improvements to physical interface of devices can sustain and enhance people’s momentarily recurrences of Passion, a dance-like wellbeing that activates people and transforms unfavourable perceptions of space and stresses in long commutes.

Outside of my PhD work, I am an avid vocalist and performer with Red Radiant Productions in Australia. I recently studied under the tutelage of Baritone Jason-Barry Smith, while in Brisbane, Australia. Past teachers have included Tenors Reuben Lai and Brendan Keefe-Au. My repertoire consists spans across art songs, opera arias, jazz and musical theatre, with a special interest in classical crossovers of Disney songs and songs by Singaporean composers.

In future career goals, I seek to align my research and personal interests. This may be in context of audience interactions with live/ technology mediated performances, or in terms of technologies that can enhance music learning in a studio-environment.

Thesis Title: ‘Tuning-in’ to ‘tune-out’: mediating engagement experiences with music-on-the-go

Commute drains people. Imagine 1 in 7 Australians in major cities having to trudge through public commutes of at least 45 minutes, to and from home and work on a daily basis. Inactivity in commute puts a drain on one’s physical health, whereas stresses and noises amplify anxieties and impacts their mental wellbeing. Music moves people. People in commute ‘tune-in’ to music using portable music devices like headphones, as a companion for travel and to mitigate stress. In ‘tuning-in’ to music, people physicalize movement in music through their bodies, for instance, nodding their head and tapping their feet. Research in music perception seldom address this interplay between people, music, commute and draw little reference to people’s use of devices. This research explores what constitutes embodied interactions with music and how a combination of emergent devices- headphones and haptics can enhance these interactions in context. Video observations record a person’s interactions with device, music and context in real-time. Retrospective interviews probe at a participant’s quality of music experience in ‘tuning-in’ to ‘tune-out’ and how it affects their wellbeing. In deconstructing people’s embodied interactions with music in ‘tuning-in’ to ‘tune out’, I have identified two key areas in which devices can be augmented to sustain wellbeing in commute. In headphones, it involves calibration of frequencies in spatial sensing of musical movement. In haptics, it entails physical enhancement of interface user fit to sustain and mediate people’s sensing of musical pulse. Advancing methodology through data visualization of Instances and trends of people’s embodied interactions with music, device and context is a piecewise step towards understanding the potential of music interventions for health in everyday life. It aligns with growing interests in salutogenic design of wearables for Design for Health and Wellbeing fielded by QUT Design Lab, and ARC research priorities in health to develop technologies that allow individuals to manage their own health.

Principal Supervisor: Dr Marianella Chamorro-Koc
Associate Supervisor: Dr Rafael Gomez

Estimated Completion date: October, 2020