Seminar Research and Creation: James Bean

The Artistic Research Residency Program is open to composers and artists who wish to carry out their musical and artistic research using IRCAM or its partners’ facilities and extensive research environment (competition on Ulysses platform).

This year, IRCAM is pleased to announce that James Bean is one of the winners and, his residency will be in collaboration with Musical Representations Team.

The d-nm Project: dynamic environmental notation for music


For the last several years, James Bean has been composing works that strained the limits of standard music notation, and as a result, standard methods of learning, rehearsing, and performing contemporary music. Upon realizing that a static notation on paper was preventing performers from fully engaging with the material, he began work on an interactive music notation environment. Beginning as a Javascript-based script into Adobe Illustrator, this project, called dn-m (dynamic notation for music), is now written in the Swift language for iOS tablet devices.

The project's concerns are directed towards the learning-, rehearsal-, and performance-processes of musicians of contemporary music.


dn-m seeks to extend the traditional musical model to include graphic-notational concepts (string tablature and other non-staff-based notations etc.).


Further, dn-m seeks to integrate traditional performer annotations (beat-markings, cues, etc.) directly into the score itself, drawing this information directly from the musical model, rather than requiring the performer to re-add this information themselves.

During the next month while at IRCAM, James Bean will be continuing a large-scale refactor of the software, to refine architectural modularity for the purpose of long-term stability, and to encourage reuse and contribution from external developers.

Portrait: James Bean

James Bean (b. 1989 USA) currently studies composition with Chaya Czernowin and Hans Tutschku at Harvard University. In the past, he has had the privilege to study with Rand Steiger at UC San Diego, and Robert Kyr at the University of Oregon. As a composer, Bean has been performed by ensembles such as the JACK Quartet, Talea Ensemble, Fonema Consort, Beta Collide, Tyler Borden and others. As a sound engineer and performer of electronics, Bean has worked with the Arditti Quartet, Claire Chase, Red Fish Blue Fish, Sam Dunscombe, and more.

Free access, limited seats available

Salle Stravinsky

Seminar in English