177 research outputs found

    SameSameButDifferent v.02 – Iceland

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    The history of computer music is to a great extent the history of algorithmic composition. Here generative approaches are seen as an artistic technique. However, the generation of algorithmic music is normally done in the studio, where the music is aesthetically valued by the composer. The public only gets to know one, or perhaps few, variations of the expressive scope of the algorithmic system itself. In this paper, we describe a generative music system of infinite compositions, where the system itself is aimed for distribution and to be used on personal computers. This system has a dual structure of a compositional score and a performer that performs the score in real-time every time a piece is played. We trace the contextual background of such systems and potential future applications

    Algorithms as scores: coding live music

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    The author discusses live coding as a new path in the evolution of the musical score. Live-coding practice accentu- ates the score, and whilst it is the perfect vehicle for the performance of algorithmic music it also transforms the compositional process itself into a live event. As a continuation of 20th-century artistic developments of the musical score, live-coding systems often embrace graphical elements and language syntaxes foreign to standard programming languages. The author presents live coding as a highly technologized artistic practice, shedding light on how non-linearity, play and generativity will become prominent in future creative media productions

    Confessions of a live coder

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    This paper describes the process involved when a live coder decides to learn a new musical programming language of another paradigm. The paper introduces the problems of running comparative experiments, or user studies, within the field of live coding. It suggests that an autoethnographic account of the process can be helpful for understanding the technological conditioning of contemporary musical tools. The author is conducting a larger research project on this theme: the part presented in this paper describes the adoption of a new musical programming environment, Impromptu, and how this affects the author’s musical practice

    Of epistemic tools: musical instruments as cognitive extensions

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    This paper explores the differences in the design and performance of acoustic and new digital musical instruments, arguing that with the latter there is an increased encapsulation of musical theory. The point of departure is the phenomenology of musical instruments, which leads to the exploration of designed artefacts as extensions of human cognition – as scaffolding onto which we delegate parts of our cognitive processes. The paper succinctly emphasises the pronounced epistemic dimension of digital instruments when compared to acoustic instruments. Through the analysis of material epistemologies it is possible to describe the digital instrument as an epistemic tool: a designed tool with such a high degree of symbolic pertinence that it becomes a system of knowledge and thinking in its own terms. In conclusion, the paper rounds up the phenomenological and epistemological arguments, and points at issues in the design of digital musical instruments that are germane due to their strong aesthetic implications for musical culture

    Designing constraints: composing and performing with digital musical systems

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    This paper investigates two central terms in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) – affordances and constraints – and studies their relevance to the design and understanding of digital musical systems. It argues that in the analysis of complex systems, such as new interfaces for musical expression (NIME), constraints are a more productive analytical tool than the common HCI usage of affordances. Constraints are seen as limitations enabling the musician to encapsulate a specific search space of both physical and compositional gestures, proscribing complexity in favor of a relatively simple set of rules that engender creativity. By exploring the design of three different digital musical systems, the paper defines constraints as a core attribute of mapping, whether in instruments or compositional systems. The paper describes the aspiration for designing constraints as twofold: to save time, as musical performance is typically a real-time process, and to minimize the performer’s cognitive load. Finally, it discusses skill and virtuosity in the realm of new musical interfaces for musical expression with regard to constraints

    An epistemic dimension space for musical devices

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    The analysis of digital music systems has traditionally been characterized by an approach that can be defined as phenomenological. The focus has been on the body and its relationship to the machine, often neglecting the system’s conceptual design. This paper brings into focus the epistemic features of digital systems, which implies emphasizing the cognitive, conceptual and music theoretical side of our musical instruments. An epistemic dimension space for the analysis of musical devices is proposed

    The ixiQuarks: merging code and GUI in one creative space

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    This paper reports on ixiQuarks; an environment of instruments and effects that is built on top of the audio programming language SuperCollider. The rationale of these instruments is to explore alternative ways of designing musical interaction in screen-based software, and investigate how semiotics in interface design affects the musical output. The ixiQuarks are part of external libraries available to SuperCollider through the Quarks system. They are software instruments based on a non- realist design ideology that rejects the simulation of acoustic instruments or music hardware and focuses on experimentation at the level of musical interaction. In this environment we try to merge the graphical with the textual in the same instruments, allowing the user to reprogram and change parts of them in runtime. After a short introduction to SuperCollider and the Quark system, we will describe the ixiQuarks and the philosophical basis of their design. We conclude by looking at how they can be seen as epistemic tools that influence the musician in a complex hermeneutic circle of interpretation and signification

    Improvising with the threnoscope: integrating code, hardware, GUI, network, and graphic scores

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    Live coding emphasises improvisation. It is an art practice that merges the act of musical composition and performance into a public act of projected writing. This paper introduces the Threnoscope system, which includes a live coding micro-language for drone-based microtonal composition. The paper discusses the aims and objectives of the system, elucidates the design decisions, and introduces in particular the code score feature present in the Threnoscope. The code score is a novel element in the design of live coding systems allowing for improvisation through a graphic score, rendering a visual representation of past and future events in a real-time performance. The paper demonstrates how the system’s methods can be mapped ad hoc to GUI- or hardware-based control

    ixi lang: a SuperCollider parasite for live coding

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    This demo paper describes the rationale and design of the ixi lang, a live coding language built on top of SuperCollider. The paper explains why SuperCollider is used for this task, and reports on a survey conducted with users of the language. It concludes that simple and constrained systems can be useful in specific musical contexts, in particular when sketching or improvising, but that such systems can be limiting in the long run

    Screen-based musical instruments as semiotic machines

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    The ixi software project started in 2000 with the intention to explore new interactive patterns and virtual interfaces in computer music software. The aim of this paper is not to describe these programs, as they have been described elsewhere, but rather explicate the theoretical background that underlies the design of these screen-based instruments. After an analysis of the similarities and differences in the design of acoustic and screen-based instruments, the paper describes how the creation of an interface is essentially the creation of a semiotic system that affects and influences the musician and the composer. Finally the terminology of this semiotics is explained as an interaction model
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