Experimental Computer Music

These dark and minimalist sonic terrains represent a different way of working than the compositions on my Ambient page.  In these pieces, I began with one or more audio samples to which I applied various digital signal processing (DSP) techniques and then layered and arranged according to taste. See the descriptions below for more detail on the processes used to create each work.  These pieces were previously hosted on Ruccas.org, a “site for artists using computers and electronics in unconventional ways.”

Software used

MacPOD (1.x), Argeïphontes Lyre, Csound, Cloud Generator, SoundHack, th0nk0+2, Digital Performer

Methods

DSP manipulation of samples including iterative pitch shifting, time stretching, and sample rate changes; asynchronous granular synthesis; non-metric looping and collage.

Music

License: Creative Commons: Attribution-Sharealike

Differentiated Abstractions (May 2006) 12:34

“Differentiated Abstractions” will be the first of several new “stretch” pieces – a collection that I plan to (creatively ;) ) call “POD Ambient 2.” Once again I have taken a sound sample about 5 seconds long created with Argeïphontes Lyre using its dynamic frequency modulation algorithm. This time though I granulated the sample first with th0nk0+2, creating a chaotic and very dynamic “narration” of about 40 seconds before I stretched the sound with MacPOD. I also stretched the th0nk output to three different lengths (six times, nine times, and eighteen times). The final composition was mixed using Csound 5‘s diskin2 opcode by layering the three stretches and looping the shorter ones to match the length of the longest. The result is engulfing, multi-granulated sound with audible canonic elements.

Old Man and Stones (1997/2004) 8:16

“Old Man and Stones” was originally written in 1997 and was revised in 2004. The piece is completely constructed from only two recordings of my own speech. The first phrase is taken from the opening words of John Cage’s “Lecture on Nothing.” These words were transformed into the drone sound that underlies all of “Old Man and Stones.” And the periodic ‘sunken horn calls’ proclaim the words “I am here” over and over again.

The other spoken word phrase tells the story of a Native American elder who is asked whether stones are alive. The words are heard ‘plainly,’ and also in a sound that I imagined was reminiscent of the pebble-filled, gourd rattles used in the sacred ceremonies of the Lakota tribe. Both texts became for me, parts of a new spiritual understanding which “Old Man and Stones” attempts to convey.

lyrical tonnes acrid (2003) 11:47

This is one of three “stretch” pieces that I have created which I collectively refer to as “POD Ambient.” Each piece started as a short sound sample between five and twenty five seconds long. In the case of “lyrical …”, the sample was a noisy FM sound created with the software Argeïphontes Lyre. Then a variety of DSP transformations were applied; most importantly, asynchronous granular synthesis (via MacPOD) was used to stretch the samples to dozens of times their original lengths. The results are long, pulsating, sonic tapestries exposing the “hidden” details of the original sounds.

2 thoughts on “Experimental Computer Music

    1. Anthony Post author

      Cool. Thanks for letting me know! I hope that you will share a link to the project when it is finished (assuming it will be online).

      Reply

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