Networked_Music_Review

Net_Music_Weekly: Composing with Process 2.2

marcus_schmickler.jpgComposing with Process: Perspectives on Generative and Systems Music 2.2: Marcus Schmickler and EVOL:

Generative music is a term used to describe music which has been composed using a set of rules or system. This series of six episodes explores — written and edited by Mark Fell and Joe Gilmore for Radio Web MACBA (RWM) — generative approaches (including algorithmic, systems-based, formalised and procedural) to composition and performance primarily in the context of experimental technologies and music practices of the latter part of the 20th Century and examines the use of determinacy and indeterminacy in music and how these relate to issues around control, automation and artistic intention. Each episode of the series is accompanied by an additional programme, entitled ‘Exclusives’, featuring exclusive or unpublished sound pieces by leading sound artists and composers working in the field.

This show presents two contrasting generative works by German composer Marcus Schmickler and Catalan collective EVOL.

02:00 Marcus Schmickler ‘RR 0’ (Revolving Realities #0), 2010 (23:43) — ‘RR 00’ is an excerpt from a collaborative auto-reactive light and sound installation that was premiered on 19th January 2010 in Cologne. The sound component is the sonification of astrophysical data and the simulation of dynamic systems.

The installation consisted of computer controlled electro-luminescent wires, quasi-spherical light projections and 10.2 channel audio. The light installation, its custom controllers and the light projections were created by Cologne-based group Interpalazzo. Schmickler created various musical parts especially for this collaborative work. ‘RR 0’ is the process running at sunset before dark, after which the light installation becomes visible.

The piece was originally conceived for ‘The Bonn Patternization’ – which explores the sonification of astrophysical data. The basis of ‘The Bonn Patternization’ consists of readings for different stars, star clusters and galaxies, as well as their properties such as light, distance and coordinates. In addition, sounds are generated from systems that arithmetically simulate astronomically relevant phenomena such as the interaction between celestial bodies due to gravitation. The process underlying ‘RR 0’ simulates the behavior of objects or clusters of objects in a gravity field. It is based on a visual embodiment primarily implemented in Supercollider by Fredrik Olofsson and reworked into a Subtractive Synthesis application with the help of Alberto de Campo.

25:41 EVOL ‘Untitled Anthem Study’, 2010 (12:37) — After reading Benoit Mandelbrot’s 1982 The Fractal Geometry of Nature in 1998, Roc Jimenez de Cisneros became fascinated with self-similarity and iterated function systems and their possible application to musical structures. This piece, which was finished a few days after Mandelbrot’s death in the fall of 2010, uses several synthesis models originally written for Rave Slime (ALKU, 2010) in combination with a recursive algorithm that was used in the composition Fart Synthesis (Presto!?, 2009).

The piece is one of many studies realised in the research process started in late 2008 to combine rave-inspired sounds with generative algorithms to explore particle physics concepts such as configuration spaces, parameter permutations and phase spaces.


Dec 13, 2010
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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