Eclectic I

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Technology Journal week 8 Submission


Tim Swalling -music technology honours student.
“Artificial life in the creation of music.*1”

“All the great artists have been great workers; inexhaustible not only in invention but also in rejecting, sifting, transferring, ordering.*2”

This quote was used by Tim to associate the organization and selection inherent to A-life with the real world.

“Genetic algorithms*3” which are synonymous to “Charles Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection,*4” are the key component to 1 form of A-life in music. An example of this is previous forum speaker Gordon Monro.

“Cellular automata*5” is another model of selection used in A-life composition. The “ChaOs Synth*6” uses cellular automata for its granular synthesis.

Tim’s hope is through the analysis of these two types of A-life composition; he can combine the two methods and “Develop an environment in which sound creation is an integral component of the organisms that occupy it.*7” I respect this approach, as the processes used in A-life composition are quite often paramount to the actual aesthetic result. I feel this is flawed from a musical perspective and the sonic outcome should always have vital appeal in all composition.

Jasmin Ward– Music Technology honours student.

As part of a collective including Michael Yuen and Stephen Whittington, Jasmin has entered a competition entitled “Agent in Collaborative design.” The competition focused on promoting zero waste.

Using the “Barker Inlet Wetlands*8” as a compositional model; she has constructed a musique concrete piece that uses recordings of urban waste/noise pollution. The sounds are then filtered via various sonic processes as the piece progresses till the aesthetic outcome is a filtered “clean” sound.

An idea of Jasmin’s to further its public appeal is to use MIDI data and a Max MSP patch to convert the piece into an interactive sound installation. In this manner the effect of human behaviour on their surrounding environment becomes represented sonically. I think it is a very clever and unique idea. “The culture of interaction, if harnessed by schools can be a tremendous force in promoting learning.*8” In this sense I think Jasmin’s “project could be used most effectively to promote its zero waste ideal.

Workshop with David Harris

Led Zeplin’s “whole lotta love” from the album “Led Zeplin 2” (1970)

This song uses a theremin in its “solo” section. It creates vast sweeps (glissandos) of sound which create quite an complex and enjoyable texture.

Pink Floyd’s “Bike” from the album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” (1968)

This song begins in a typical pop format but develops into musique concrete at the end of it. There is some quite impressive use layering and texture

Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” from the album “Dark Side of the Moon.” (1978)

This song uses a VCS3 to great affect. Its use helps paint a distinctive sonic sound scape.

Frank Zappa’s “Mr Green Jeans” from the album “Unkle Meat” (1963)

The unusual ensemble of this song was used in a rhythmically slow manner emphasising the strange contents of the lyrics. It was enjoyable to listen to.

Pierre Heny’s Musique concrete piece “Viola d’Orpheus” (1953)

This piece was unique in the sense that it actually used recordings of instruments rather then just strait sounds common to musique concrete. It was also a lot more aesthetically pleasing then most because the sonic result resembled that of a well thought out sound-scape.

Creative Computing

Use of features within the Edit windows of Pro Tools for audio sequencing, automation and “colourisation” was the focus of this lesson. It is helpful to be relearning things from last year.

Applying these things to the Re-mixing of the “NIN” song “Only” was an enjoyable project.

Nin Remix

Audio Arts

Microphone use was focus of this lesson. I found it useful to obtain information on what microphones are good to use for certain instruments. I also valued the advice of experimentation. Using a microphone that isn’t typical to produce a certain aesthetic outcome.

*1 Tim, Swalling. “Bringing Music to A-Life” Lecture presented at university Adelaide 4 May 2006.

*2Friedrich, Nietzsche. Human, All Too Human. Trans. R.J. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge university Press, 1996) 83.

*3 Wikipedia “Genetic Algorithms” 23 April 2006. (5 May 2006).

*4 Wikipedia “Natural Selection” 4 May 2006. (5 May 2006).

*5 Wikipedia “Cellular automaton” 20 April 2006 ( 5 May 2006).

*6 Digital Music Online. “Chaos synth – a cellular automata-based granular synthesiser” Digital Music Online tutorials on computer music. (5 May 2006).

*7 Tim, Swalling. “Bringing Music to A-Life: Artificial Life in the Creation of Music.” Lecture notes from University of Adelaide 4 May 2006.

*8 Postcards. “Barker Inlet Wetlands: Adelaide Coast Region of South Australia” Postcards online 2006. (5 May 2006).

*9 Don Tapscott. “Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation” Meridian a middle school computer technologies journal 1998 (5 May 2006).

Picture References (In order of appearance) "Whole lotta love" Led Zeplin catalogue. 2006. (6 May 2006). "Piper at the Gates of Dawn" Pink Floyd catalogue. 2006. (6 May 2006). "Dark Side of the Moon." Pink Floyd catalogue. 2006. (6 May 2006). "Uncle Meat." Frank Zappa catalogue. 2006. (6 May 2006).

Charles T. Downey. "New Work by Pierre Henry." 23 March 2005. (6 May 2006).


Blogger 1337 said...

It was a struggle but I found a spelling mistake - "Gordon Monro" doesn't have an 'e' on the end. So there. Where's you NIN song? You're letting the team down, man. Also your 'Dark Side of the Moon' pic isn't the real cover- your one is the 30th anniversary edition SACD. See what happens when you rely on That's my bitch over with.

2:22 AM  
Blogger david j dowling said...

Thankyou for your explanation of Jasmine's project. I was a little unsure of exactly what it was after last weeks forum......

7:08 PM  

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