Experimental Music

 

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A generative composition created within Max/MSP.

This genre of composition is based on creating a hierarchy of rules that give way to the evolution of the music. Deciding how to implement restrictions, distributions and probabilities across algorithmic compositional techniques was key in devising a generative work that sounds progressive, aesthetically pleasing, unusual, and thought-provoking.

The aim of the work is to take a brief recording of the user playing or singing a particular note, and send this sample on an inevitable journey towards complete destruction. Each time the generative composition is played, it sounds different because of its algorithmic nature, but it will always explore the inefficiencies of sampling through phase vocoding and the discrete nature of the computer's sample-rate. Visit the vimeo page for a detailed description of the Max patches created and the process involved.

Here is a slightly different version (in its use of repitching, reverb and mean distribution) of the generative algorithm used in the above experimental sample track. This time a visual element is present to help the viewer understand how the max patch works.

 

The sound wave file in the middle (yellow) shows what portion of the original sample was used.The graphs on the right show Pitch Displacement Changes and Tempo Changes, the table can change ins interval pattern based on the users choice of scale or mode, and slightly southwest of this is a reverb dial, used primarily for the controlling aesthetics.

The Elgar Electrovariation is an electroacoustic piece, where a small hint of the original track Edward Elgar's Enigma Variations 'C.A.E.' is maintained throughout, while the rest of it is dismantled, transformed, repitched, resampled, reversed, and reharmonized.

 

The first section is based on a digital reorchestration. All the harmonic content of the original piece was removed and reconstructed, by taking millisecond fragments of the orchestral sound at different points in time in the music for different timbres, and looping these at different rates to generate different pitches appropriate to the original harmonic structure, creating a fascinating reanimation of harmonic content.

 

The rest of the piece is full of both obvious detailed changes that may be missed unless one is very familiar with the original piece.

Mechanical Mist is another electroacoustic piece, dedicated to exploring the relations between beats and tones, avoiding common compositional tools like rhythm and melody. It uses non-linear techniques and experimental combinations of outboard processing, synthesis and tape manipulation.

 

A narrative is almost non-existent, and so the piece acts more as a dream, taking the listener from scene to scene, exploring different atmospheres and emotions based on the textures and timbres discovered through experimental methodologies.