Back to the Music

It’s early in the week and there are all sorts of things that I will be plowing through in the next few days, but I wanted to start on a fresh note – pardon the pun.

I began working on some new ideas for a performance piece about arts and the artist and the relationship with contemporary culture. One of the elements might be the performance of a piece of auto-generated music. The iPhone has several apps that use this idea, that with the proper programming, a sound generator can create a never ending stream of seemingly random sounds that are pleasant and qualify, perhaps, as “music.” Brian Eno has been involved in the creation of two of those apps, namely “Bloom” and “Trope” and he is credited with inspiring a third, “Air.” Each of the apps can be set to generate music on their own or take input from the user.

My idea was to use these apps in a live performance, allowing the players to interact as they desired and otherwise allowing the program to generate the sounds. These three apps would be running simultaneously and the application screen would be projected above the player.

The technical aspects of how to actually perform the music is pretty simple, but perhaps not too easy, but my first concern was whether or not it would sound good. Thus, I created Ambienteno, a piece for three iPhone apps. It is long, about 27 minutes, but illustrates that the generative music applications can produce engaging, yet maybe not thrilling musical experiences.

Ambienteno by StuartDMT

Ambienteno – music for 3 iPhone apps by Stuart Dummit

I will be using this and another track of similar origin to create the next DES Podcast, due out this week. More information on the performance piece that I’m working on as ideas develop.

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