Interactive Music

This is an audio feed from the sound-art installation Floating Music 2: The work consists of generative music and an interactive cluster of floating balloons. When a balloon is struck, a particular set of the music’s characteristics will change dynamically. Many combinations of sound alterations are possible when the balloons are struck simultaneously, so users are encouraged to investigate, experiment and most importantly play with the installation. The generative music produced will be simplistic and docile when the installation floats undisturbed, but things get more interesting when interaction occurs… Floating Music explores the idea that the behaviour of sound can be tied to the behaviour and movement of physical objects.

A quick demo, explaining how the Floating Music installation works and sounds.

My sound art installation for masters course in Advanced Music Technology - Floating Music. Eight balloons are suspended above a light source in a darkened room. The user can hit different balloons at different velocities to affect various aspects of Max/MSP-generated algorithmic composition. The result is that the user can change the sound and behaviour of the music in a way that mimics the motion of the balloons.

 

About 4 years ago I was introduced to Max/MSP. This was my first project with it, building a sampling instrument made with an arduino, wiimotes, sensors, and all the other software and hardware bits in between. Its actually kind of painful for me to watch, but hey - document everything they said!!

Interactive music technology using Pure Data coding. Generative music is created through the movement of my two pet fish, who's motion was tracked in all three dimensions affecting melody pitch, accompaniment chords, and volume. Looking back on this project, there is a lot that can be improved, but the proof of concept was successful. I may perhaps revisit this project someday, with giant sharks and stingrays...

Live Performance

I've recently been learning how to Max in the world of Jitter and OpenGL. At the end of April 2017 we had the pleasure of debuting some experimental music which my interactive visuals dance to, monitored by myself.

 

I must thank Sam Tarakajian, Ned Rush, Federico Foderaro, and Andrew Benson for their infinite wisdom and willingness to share knowledge.

A fun project that got a lot of attention from the media across the world. Two fellow music students and I came up with an arrangement for Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's Flight of the Bumblebee on 101 bottles. Preparing for this work was physically exhausting, hilarious and sobering. The video presently has over 3 million views on YouTube and counting!

This is a promotional video for the function band Red Effect, of which I was a member since its conception in 2009 until 2013. My responsibilities in the band involved performing on lead guitar, keyboards, vocals, designing sounds, designing operating MIDI setups, and transporting band members and equipment. The band rapidly became incredibly successful, and toured across Ireland for six years. In 2015, after the pleasures of working together and enjoying national success, the original members of Red Effect moved onto new and exciting career-developing projects.

Yet another classical music performance using the wonderfully percussive properties of glass bottles. This performance features the famous Hungarian folk piece Czardas, and is performed by three music students, including myself. Working together on this project was even more fun than our last endeavor!

Other Compositions

 

Below are a few examples of the kind of music that I enjoy writing in my own free time. I use combinations of different audio software for different tasks, such as Logic X, Pro Tools, Max/MSP, IRCAM software, Praat, Computer Desktop Project, and many more. Rarely do I get discouraged by tedious processing methods if they lead to the right sound that I am looking for.

 

Most of my music contains some element of experimentation, sonically or contextually, but each composition tries to explore a slightly different genre of electronic music. If there's something you like, please share the love. If there is something you want to know about, please use the Contact page to get in touch.

 

Happy listening!

This track was inspired by Trent Reznor's soundtrack for The Social Network, and is a good starting point to introduce my style of composition.

 

As an exercise, Massive was the only virtual instrument used in this track. All Massive synthesizers were set to use the same source oscillators, allowing a diversity of sound to be achievable only through variables such as envelopes, filters, and other modulating effects that don't disrupt the natural timbre of the synth.

Schyman (Valjalo, 2013) claims that Stravinsky once said “Give me the entire keyboard (referring to the piano) to compose and I am paralyzed by too much choice. But give me two notes and I can start composing immediately”. Being spoiled for choice, the main challenge with writing this sample-based piece of music was figuring out which clips would work most effectively.

 

The heart of this track is found within its contrast between harsh, aggressive sounds and less intimidating natural sounds. It is based entirely on the concatenation of very short samples from other songs and speeches. It aims to explore the many textures that can be achieved through sample processing while creating a unified musical work. It makes use of advanced compositional techniques such as granular synthesis, cross-synthesis, harmonic distortion, phase vocoding, transient design, pitch shifting, image shifting, dynamic filtering, compressions, reverse playback, and many more.

Inspired by Tom Jenkinson (aka Squarepusher), this is a drill n' bass track. The use of awkwardly-tuned synthesizers excites me, which led to my exploration (with harmonic and psychological complexity) of glissandi in an aggressively electronic environment. The techniques of resampling and oscillation modulation were executed through Max/MSP and Kontakt dynamic playback speeds, synthesizer oscillator automation, oscillator LFO and envelope modulation, and large/small/slow/fast pitch-bends. Each approach to a glissando yielded their own advantages as well as side-effects.

 

 

Here is an example of a instrumental pop track that I wanted to create for a hypothetical promotional video. One can note that its structure is very obviously divisible into 8-bar sections. This was done for the purpose of a client, as it would be quite obvious where the music can be editted or looped.

 

While I do not normally write pop-style music, I must admit it was extremely fun to write a more simplistic track that all my less musically-informed friends can enjoy!

Skittlez, however people want to pronounce it, was my first indulgence in the many faces of EDM - something that was previously alien to me in terms of composition. There are influences of Infected Mushroom, Deadmau5, Feed Me, Daft Punk and many others riddled across this track. A schizophrenic and glitchy paradise pervades the music at times, combined with the glue of 4-to-the-floor beats and minimalistic hooks.

 

This track has been revisited several terms for promotional videos, remixing and reproduction. I quite like it because if its diversity and colour!

 

An experimental rendition of the famous jazz number 'Night in Tunisia', inspired by Ella Fitzgerald and performed by denver-cuss.

 

This heart of the composition process here was based around the dissonant behaviour of the bass, and embelished by the extension of existing harmonies analyzed from Ella's version.

 

The hyper-production used on Denver's vocals was inspired from my research in voice manipulation, detailed on my Masters Project page.