Jasmine Tsui

Research Assistant 2020-22


Jasmine Tsui is an interdisciplinary artist, specializing in percussion performance. They have received both the SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship and the Ontario Graduate Scholarship for their research on how interdisciplinary pedagogy has the potential to alter and enhance the learning and performance of percussion-theatre works. Through the TaPIR research lab, Jasmine will continue to build upon their foundation of interdisciplinary art practices with the integration of live-processed electronics. Their most recent project, Acrylic Noise, incorporated the use of a MUGIC motion sensor to process the physical movement of abstract painting to create an interactive soundscape. Moving forward, Jasmine hopes to create a work using the Arduino Uno, a MUGIC motion sensor, and several electric fans. 




MadLib is an electro-acoustic piece for open instrumentation with live electronics created using Max software. It was commissioned by Jonny Smith in 2021 from composer Louis Pino. The concept of this work was to create a piece that can be customized by the performer in a variety of ways thereby giving the performer greater creative agency and allowing for a wide array of potential musical outcomes. The concept of the piece is inspired by the word game, Mad Libs. In the game, the reader or group of readers is asked to think of and write down random words. These words are then used to fill in the blanks of a prewritten story, usually for comic effect. A core aspect of the piece is the performer uploading their own audio samples to then be manipulated by the patch in some preset and some personally customizable processes.

A study was held from October 4th to November 6th 2022, involving various TaPIR researchers learning, experimenting with, and recording their own versions of the piece. The goal of this experiment was to analyze how performers chose to perform and interact with the electronic accompaniment, and to evaluate the piece as a creative practical tool to aid in learning the Max software. MadLib premiered in April 2022 at The Space Between conference at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Both Smith and Pino performed their own versions of the piece in order to demonstrate how the piece can be shaped in a variety of ways by different performers.

Sonic Canvas

Sonic Canvas is a multidisciplinary digital improvisation performed by visual artist Jasmine Tsui and music technologist Tim Roth.

The work uses a colour-retrieval patch created in Max, a visual programming language, to generate information about the size and location of colour on a screen.

The performers negotiate the sound world together: the artist creates illustrations on the iPad illustration app Procreate that set command values, and the technologist scales these values and assigns them to different parameters of a synthesizer. Unlike traditional collaboration between musician and artist, the artist now has first-person control over all the sounds produced.

Video information from the iPad can be transmitted to the Max patch over the internet, resulting in a work that is best consumed digitally and adheres to social distancing guidelines.

This project can accommodate numerous digital artists from a variety of mediums and has much room for expansion.

Group Projects

Three Roses

Three Roses is a quartet for percussion, incorporating 2 technological devices to give the performers control over lighting and sound design. First is the MUGIC, a gestural sensor developed by violinist Mari Kimura, which you can see on each of the players’ hands. Second is the Arduino which controls the lights, and through the software Max MSP can respond to the gestures of the performers captured by the MUGIC. This piece was commissioned by Aiyun Huang for the TaPIR lab in the early stages of COVID, and as such has gone through multiple iterations from live concert performance, to remote collaboration, and eventually settled as an in person recording project.


For Mari’s MUGIC workshop, Jasmine decided to combine painting with sound. Using MUGIC, Jasmine controlled pitch, volume, and modulation of various sound wave generators, all in response to the motions of her brush.


Click here for more information on TaPIR Lab’s MUGIC workshop with Mari Kimura


These four lab members (Tyler Cunningham, Timothy Roth, Joyce To, and Jasmine Tsui) were living together at the time of the workshop, so they opted to work as a group. They added a second breadboard to one Arduino Uno, making for a total of eight buttons. The buttons on one breadboard controlled pitches that blinked on and off at regular intervals, and the buttons on the second breadboard controlled the speed of the pitches. They built a second, similar instrument and performed with one person on each breadboard. The quartet performed a three-part étude featuring different styles. The first part featured a shifting melody-accompaniment relationship between instrument pairs; the second part generated musical ideas using time signature 7/8; the third part explored the instrument’s timbral extremes.

compound. oblique. transverse.

compound.transverse.oblique. explores concepts of fragility and fracture through simple electronic instruments built with Arduino microcontrollers and percussion instruments.

The Arduino instrument’s exposed circuitry presents a vulnerable and fragile aesthetic that became the central focus of the composition.

Throughout the work frail sounds dissolve as delicate textures breakdown and snap under pressure, creating an abstract composition that is intense and unpredictable.

compound. uses simple speaker electronic instruments that are extremely precarious both in their playability and its sound. Two percussionists coerce cracks, whispers, and buzzy screeches by scraping amplified coins across Almglocken while one percussionist plays a large woodblock with a vibra bullet and another rips large pieces of paper.

In oblique. a single timpano is used as a resonator for the Arduino electronic instrument speaker and the performer’s voices. Multiple percussionists perform overtone singing into the drumhead and manipulate its tension to create a delicate polyphony between humans and machine.

transverse. is characterized by electronic and acoustic sounds that are melted down and synthesized to create a bright, sharp timbre. Pitches begin in unison and gradually shift by microtones to illustrate harmonic cracks and fractures.