Roberto Dillon's Home Page

NEWS! I have a new personal website targeted to Game Development and Programming. Check it out!

I was born in 1973 in Genoa (Italy) and I graduated in Electrical Engineering (Biomedics) in my city university in 1999.

The final mark was 106 / 110 and my Master Thesis was on "A Hybrid System for Music Composition and Performance" (it consisted of an expert system able to compose musical phrases by development of the musicological structure known as "Schenkerian Ursatz". It was followed by a program, consisting of neural nets and rules, able to perform input scores in different emotional styles, like restless, dark, cold and so on. The work ended with the physical model of a flute, able to perform the scores elaborated previously). The thesis was carried out under the supervision of Prof. A. Camurri, at that time President of the Italian Association of Musical Informatics.

From October 1999 to February 2001 I worked as programmer analyst for ELSAG, a company located in Genoa where I was involved in the production of a complex web based system commissioned by Italian Mail for the transmission of telegrams by phone operators (I designed and developed software components in C++, HTML, ASP and Javascript).
In that period I collaborated also with the recording label Philarmonia as multimedia programmer and with the Laboratory of Musical Informatics, located in the University of Genoa (among other activities, I was involved in the production of the computer system required for the "light keyboard" used in the "Promethee" Op.60 by Skrjabin which opened the 1999-2000 symphonic season of the theater "Carlo Felice" in Genoa).

In January 2001 I started a Ph.D. degree in Computer Engineering, focusing on Musical Informatics, at the University of Genoa still under the supervision of Prof. Camurri. Hence I had to quit the job I had in Elsag as programmer analyst.
As Ph.D. candidate I was involved in european research projects (like MEGA, IST-1999-20410), besides national ones and, from March to June 2001 and again from March to May 2002, I was invited as Guest Researcher by the Department of Speech, Music and Hearing at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm. There I collaborated with personalities such as Prof. Johan Sundberg and Dr. Anders Friberg in developing software libraries in C++ for real time extraction of audio cues from actual musical performances. My Ph.D. thesis, On the recognition of expressive intentions in music playing: A computational approach with experiments and applications (written in English, discussed in May 2004), focused on the development of software modules and statistical methods for automatically recognizing, tracking and predicting expressivity in actual music playing.
The results obtained in this research can have several practical applications of industrial interest, like systems for interactive performances, computer-aided music teaching tools and even software tools able to estimate the success a partcular piece of music will have (by predicting the emotional engagements of the listeners).

I was invited to give lectures and seminars at the University of Genoa, at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and for the summer courses of New York University.

Since January 2005 I started working as Research Fellow at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore within the newly opened gameLAB

Besides the academic activity, in May 2000 I founded, and directed till 2006, the company Callisto, a firm that offers several services to young artists ranging from management to web sites developments, besides being active as indipendent classical recording label.
Our audio CD productions, sold in more than 20 countries all around the world, contain also multimedia features readable on any PC regardless of the particular OS.
In this environment I refined my skills as web programmer and I gained experience in many different fields, from sound engineering to company and artists management. I succeeded in organizing very interesting events with world renowed artists, including concerts and recordings in very prestigious venues like the Royal Chapel of Drottningholm in Stockholm, Sweden (August 2002) and the concert for the birthday of the Archbishop of Genoa, Tarcisio Bertone, in the San Lorenzo Cathedral (December 2003).
As freelancer sound engineer, I recorded concerts and demos for several well known artists (including Angelo Manzotti, Amanda Pabyan, Robert Dick, Andrea Bacchetti etc.) in world famous locations such as the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice or the Halix Goolden Hall in Victoria (B.C., Canada) and I was hired for recording the italian tour of the Ukrainian State Philarmonic Orchestra.

Programming experience: During the years, both in an academic and in an idustrial environment, I acquired experience on many computer programming languages: C/C++, HTML, ASP, VBScript, JavaScript, Perl, PHP etc. and music oriented languages (like IRCAM's PatchWork and PWConstraints, MIT's Csound and DIST’s EyesWeb), besides having used databases such as MySQL and Access.

Musical/Musicological background: I studied Recorders and Baroque Flute with L.Cavasanti and Boehm Flute with O.Maffeis, among others. I partecipated to international early music courses like those held in Urbino.
In 1998 I took part to the "Intensive Programme in Cognitive Musicology" held at the Faculty of Music of the University of Jyväskylä (Finland).
In 2001 I attended the "Music Acoustics" course at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Scientific papers:
- R.Dillon: "An analysis and modeling of possible parameters for controlling emotional content in interactive audio", CyberGames 2005 - International Workshop on Games Research and Development, Singapore, pp.113-118, Pearson - Prentice Hall
- R.Dillon: "Classifying musical performance by statistical analysis of audio cues", Journal of New Music Research, Vol. 32 n.3, pp.327-332
- R.Dillon: “A statistical approach to expressive intention recognition in violin performances". Proceedings SMAC 03, Stockholm, Sweden, pp. 529-532
- R.Dillon: “Extracting Audio Cues in real time to understand musical expressiveness”, proceedings workshop on “Current Research Directions on Computer Music”, Barcelona, November 2001
- A.Camurri, R.Dillon, A.Saron: “An experiment on analysis and synthesis of musical expressivity”, proceedings CIM XIII, L'Aquila, September 2000

Download my Ph.D. Thesis in pdf format (1.3Mb): On the recognition of expressive intentions in music playing: A computational approach with experiments and applications

Languages: Italian, fluent English, elementary German, Swedish and Chinese.

Other activities: I'm a national class chess player (Genoa Student Champion in 1986). In correspondence chess I also played in the Italian national team for friendly matches against Germany, Denmark, Canada etc.
I love playing tennis (I also took part to the Northamptonshire Open in 1993, but I lost 6-2 6-0 in the first round....) and have some interest in oriental cultures and history. This led me to be a karate student (WaDo Ryu style, teached by sensei Massimo Ravera. I partecipated to stages coached by sensei Tatsuo Suzuki) in my teens and then I started practicing Hung Gar Kung Fu (under sifu Emilio Grasso). While in Singapore, I had a brief experience in Ashihara Karate and now I am practicing with Sensei Wong at the ShitoRyu Karate Association, where I recently got my brown belt.


Here you will find links to the best WWW resources I found so far plus news on the following subjects:

Chess Recorders , Flutes and Music
Pro Players on the Web (with links to recordings!) Coming events in Genoa
Jokes for Musicians MIDI Files
Programming Resources Electrical/Computer/Bio Engineering

Thanks for visiting !!

email me if you like!

View my stats.....