Royal College of Music Performance Laboratory

Lead Research Organisation: Royal College of Music
Department Name: Research


We are requesting support from the Creative Research Capability Fund to enable a major upgrade and expansion of the Royal College of Music's pioneering Performance Simulator facility into a comprehensive dual-strand Performance Laboratory. Launched in 2011, the Performance Simulator uses video simulation techniques to enable musicians to practise performing in real-world, dynamic performance conditions. The Simulator provides the foundations for world-leading research undertaken by the RCM's Centre for Performance Science and has been used as a training and development space by stakeholders across the creative and cultural economy.

In its current form, however, the Performance Simulator has been pushed to its limit in terms of capacity and technology. Its shortcomings - in size, accessibility and technological set-up - are now restricting growth for new research and further expansion for use by those working in parallel public performance domains. We envisage a programme of upgrade and expansion that will unleash the facility's full potential for industry use and research collaboration, both within and beyond the performing arts, and which will play a key role in developing our profile in commercialisation and IP.

Specifically, we are seeking [1] To create a new, much larger Performance Laboratory facility in the RCM's Performance Studio, a 110-capacity black-box fully-accessible studio space housed in the College's newly-completed extension; [2] To upgrade the existing Performance Simulator space to a parallel Performance Laboratory allowing for simultaneous operation with small and large performance groups; [3] To review, develop and install in both Laboratory spaces new simulation and performance capture software; and [4] To test and implement the expanded dual-site Performance Laboratory facility.

These advances will allow the RCM to expand its role in training musicians to meet the ever-changing demands of the UK's creative and cultural economy, foster pioneering research cutting across psychology, physiology, perception, kinematics, pedagogy and technology-enhanced experiential learning, and engage with performers from across the arts, business, sport, medicine, education and creative practices to reconsider how they prepare for and perform in their professions, all contributing to more productive and sustainable performance ecosystems.


10 25 50