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Re: CONSTRAINT OF RANDOMNESS
Title: Re: CONSTRAINT OF RANDOMNESS
At 11:47 PM -0800 12/1/04, loop.pool wrote:
of this thread has gone towards discussing randomization
That has to be the most illegible message I've seen in a
long time! (Could you maybe cool it with the colors?)
What fascinates me more than pure
randomization is the constraint of
There has been extensive work in this area by computer-assisted
composers. The methodologies of Xenakis and Cage are two classic, but
very different examples of the use of stochastic processes or
indeterminacy to generate musical materials. Max programmers are
familiar with Peter Castine's Litter objects, which provide a variety
of "flavors" of randomness for both control data generation
and audio noise:
When even a good drummer plays a two
handed hihat rhythm there are very small
timbral variations that occur because the
sticks are slightly wieghted differently, the pressure of each stroke
varies just slightly (no matter how many hours we have tried to make
it sound as uniform as possible)...All of this cause a slightly
percolative feel to the rhythm no matter how uniformly the drummer
tries to play.............and yet.........the fact that the drummer
tries very hard to play and be heard as consistent seems to have
something to do with the musical result
Avant garde composers have occasionally explored the implications
of this. Xenakis has written instrumental parts that are physically
impossible to play (such as piano passages (in Evryali, I
think) that contain more simultaneous notes than a player has
fingers!). Stockhausen as well has treated difficulty and inaccuracy
as musical parameters, as in the open form piece Klavierstuck
When we loop...we freeze a performance in
time so that ever[y] deviation from the intended norm (of rhythmic
perception) repeats EXACTLY...this can be as boring to listen to as
listening to a perfectly quantized drum machine pattern looping over
Often true, but sometimes the opposite reaction can occur. Think
of Steve Reich's Come Out, in which the incessant repetition
and subsequent progressively denser layering of precisely identical
loops reveals, first, tiny details in the sound and later the implicit
"harmony" of the linear fragment of speech as its phonemes
get "stacked up" by the layering process.
In other words, by "fixing" one aspect of musical
performance (through the removal of microvariations in repeated
phrases) the listener's attention is freed from focusing on the human,
imperfect, performative nature of the sound and can be brought to bear
on details that are normally overlooked in their transience.
Now consider when the flock changes
Simple observation will tell you that the
distances (or tightness of the flocking) will widen slightly as the
birds change direction in both their furthest distance from each other
and their closest distance... Now that the flock has resumed flying in
a relatively straight line (and that itself has some tolerances and
yet you can map with a straight line where they will end up weeks
later), their relative distances 'tighten up' and go back to
their original status quo.
This is an important point. When things change in the physical
world they typically do so in a nonlinear fashion. There is some
degree of "smear" and we are highly attuned to this.
Why not apply these kinds of algorhythms
to filter resonance, cutoff,
lfo's....................programmable contrained random deviations
from each parameters beginning setting.
My feeling is that the results would feel
more 'organic' (and, yes, Larry Cooperman, this is a terrible and
wishy washy term if it weren't for the fact that everyone on this list
has a strong feeling for what is meant when it is used).
I think in this case at least "organic" is an
appropriate term. What Rick is proposing is that one "play to"
the perceptual and cognitive mechanisms of the human organism.
Check out the controls in the super cool
free VST plugin SUPATRIGGAH.
Google doesn't find this.
Richard Zvonar, PhD