Louis Pino Headshot

Louis Pino

Research Associate, Lab Manager


Louis Pino is a percussionist and technologist living in Toronto. His work tends to focus on physical theatricality centered around themes of neural entrainment and absurdity. He often makes use of motion and light sensors, incorporating technologies like the no input mixer and various homemade synthesizers and controllers in order to create systems in which the body, mind, and sound form one unit. His most recent project with TaPIR is the composition and recording of a quartet for percussion, making use of the MUGIC gestural controller and Arduino for both sound and lighting design. Future plans for Pino include the development of percussion specific software to better calibrate and utilize the MUGIC sensor, and the composition of a solo for open instrumentation and electronics acting as both an artistic creation and a learning tool for instrumentalists interested in hands-on experience with the Max MSP software.



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.

Interactivity in Composition and Performance: A Study in Music Technology and Collaborative Creativity

This poster presents the collaborative research of Louis Pino and Jonny Smith in creating a concert piece for solo percussion that is open to customization by the performer. Pino has extensive experience composing music with Max while Smith focused his doctoral research on the subject of collaborative creativity. Together they are working on a new piece that consists of a notated score with open instrumentation and a Max patch template which is designed to be customized by the performer of the piece. The question that their research seeks to answer is: Can collaborative learning yield useful results in designing a piece that is both a compelling concert piece and an effective tool for learning about Max software? Research studies in collaborative creativity have shown that collaboration does not necessarily yield satisfactory musical results for the musicians involved (Hayden and Windsor, 2007). However, it has also been demonstrated that direct communication and mutual learning throughout the creative process are vital to the success of collaborative projects (Smith, 2020). Throughout their collaborative process, Pino and Smith each provide feedback to one another on the design of the piece and the programming of the Max patch. This reciprocal feedback has aided them in developing a piece that can be a useful introduction to Max software. Furthermore, their focus on creating a piece that is modifiable by each performer means that the collaborative aspect of the work is not finished once the score is complete. In this research poster, Pino and Smith will present an analysis of their process for creating the piece and a discussion of how their individual research in music technology and creative collaboration have intersected to create a new piece that is truly interactive and malleable.
Poster from The Space Between Conference at McMaster University, April 29-30 2022


Group Projects

Three Roses

Three Roses is a quartet for percussion, incorporating two 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, Pino wrote a short synth pop song. This song uses the MUGIC as a kick drum and shaker, while also filtering and panning the synthesizer and vocoder.

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


Pino used the Arduino instrument to perform an arrangement of Koji Kondo’s video game track “Zelda’s Lullaby”(1991) from the Legend of Zelda franchise. The notes of the melody were programmed onto the Arduino instrument, while the other hand performed accompanying material on the vibraphone. By mounting the Arduino instrument on a cardboard box, Pino could create a sense of vibrato while shaking it with his hand.