MusicXML output from slippery chicken

Back in 2011, after several years of using either CMN or Sibelius (the latter via MIDI file import), I was considering alternative score output formats for my algorithmic composition software slippery…

Why I’m leaving UK academia

(and no, it’s not just Brexit) Last year I started playing competitive squash in the East of Scotland League. After the matches, meals and drinks are provided by…

Recording “in limine” with Henrique Portovedo

  Henrique Portovedo and I have just finished recording my piece in limine, for two soprano saxophones and computer, written 2003-2005. We’ve now got to work on the mix and…

Porting slippery chicken

First of all I should say that there are no current plans to port slippery chicken. But:  A humourously intended (though sarcastic: you know who you are!) post on my…

hyperboles 3 in Montreal

Quasar Quartet, Le Gesu, Montreal, Canada, 19/1/17:   It was disappointingly warm in Montreal. I’d promised Martin temperatures of -20C and below (it reached -33C on my last trip)…

for rei as a doe: the making of the video: an online interview with the artists

Below is an interview I initiated online with the artists who made the above video to my algorithmic composition for rei as a doe. CI = Chante Inglis (animation)…

for rei as a doe, with video, in Genova

I’ve just returned from teaching algorithmic composition for a week at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica “Niccolò Paganini” in Genova, Italy. It was a pleasure to meet and work with Professor…

Control Waves and Guest Professorship at the Folkwang University, Essen

I’m just coming to the end of my second week of teaching in the Institute for Computer Music and Electronic Media (ICEM) at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen,…

timing accuracy in hyperboles 2

Those present at the St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh performance by Mieko Kanno of my hyperboles 2 (“until the cherries burst in the orchard”) on 20/5/16 were very patient. I…

Bangkok Thoughts: post-concert Q&A

Whilst searching online forY/Our Music, Salee Art Every’s excellent film about Thai  music, I stumbled across a complete recording of the post-concert question and answer session we did at Museum…

Masterclasses in Venice

The week of March 28th 2016 saw me giving saxophone and electronics masterclasses with Gianpaolo Antongirolami at the Conservatorio di Musica “Benedetto Marcello” in Venice. We were guests of…

Portrait concerts in Aveiro, Portugal

It was a pleasure to be a guest and one of the featured composers of the AVEIRO_SÍNTESE 2016 festival and the Dias De Música Electroacústica in Portugal earlier this month…

piano music and cross-staff notation

Anyone who has input a piano score into notation software knows that it’s not so easy as, say, creating a woodwind part. First of all there are chords,…

premiere of hyperboles 5, Birmingham

  Ellen Fallowfield and I outed the latest version of my hyperboles project last weekend at the Crosscurrents Festival in Birmingham. After two days of intense rehearsals and development it…

using auto-sequence to order chords: part 1

slippery chicken’s automatic chord sequencing algorithm creates an ordering for a set-palette’s sets (or chords) based on user-given dissonance and spectral centroid envelopes. The terms set and chord…

using auto-sequence to order chords: part 2

Back to part 1 auto-sequence examples and analysis The following examples process a set-palette created from a harmonic reduction by Emilios Cambouropoulos of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End…

The use of Reaper and MIRA in jitterbug

jitterbug is a four-movement four-channel work/album for computer, with or without improvising musicians. It is documented more generally but in detail in another blog post. Here I’m going…

jitterbug

(aka four views of a rhythmic-structural procedure based on iterated proportions of 6:3:5:4)     jitterbug is a four-movement four-channel work/album for computer, with or without improvising musicians….

Music for Parallel Consumption: An open-ended self-reconfiguring musical composition as app

Composed in 2010 but not released until some final polish was applied in 2015, Music for Parallel Consumption is a 4-channel digital composition made for delivery and playback via a custom…

Meditation ∫ Music, Salzburg

It was a pleasure to be invited to Seda Röder’s inaugural Sonophilia event on August 15th. This took place just outside of Salzburg, Austria, at the Cultural Centre…

Keep it Simple: Complex Rhythmic Notation in Common Lisp

No, this isn’t a polemic against complex rhythmic notation or the New Complexity. Since the 80s I’ve been a fan of such music, even if as a composer…

making a gong

Music for Parallel Consumption

  Update, January 2016: This project has now been released on bandcamp It’s a lovely word but a little overused by self-help and marketing gurus: serendipity. Those familiar…

for rei as a doe: annotated timeline

Artists Colin Lawson and Chante Inglis  are working on a video using Colin’s paintings as visuals alongside my 40-minute piano and computer piece for rei as a doe. This…

mNAP video, New Delhi

All the transcriptions are done, the analysis is complete, and now we have Shradha Jain’s video of the project I did in Delhi at the end of 2014:…

hyperboles 4 – the extremities of cold, Montreal

My hyperboles project saw a new iteration in Quebec last month. Performances of  hyperboles 4 (“insomniac rain”) took place in Canada, on February 25th courtesy of the festival Mois Multi 2015…

The mNAP sound installation

Experiencing this sound installation involves stepping into a custom-built soundproofed box (the mNAP) and listening to the twelve-minute piece I made on stereo headphones. Simple feedback on the…

Heilige Schlaf(-störung)

5.15am, December 23rd, 2014. Tharangambadi, Tamil Nadu, India. Pitch black. The dead of night. Except that the stillness that accompanies those well-known phrases is all too conspicuously missing….

Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary

You’d be forgiven for looking at this stunning photography by Shradha Jain and thinking that we’d found ourselves in idyllic surroundings full of the sounds of nature in…

step well cistern in the heart of Delhi

This was a great find: a step well in the heart of Delhi, namely Agrasen Ki Baoli–see recordings location map. Not only did this have some interesting sonic…

Dilli Haat Food and Craft Bazar

Another shot of me with that far away look–no idea where that comes from because whilst recording these ambiences I feel very focussed on the present moment. In…

unbox 2014 Delhi

I’m looking forward to working at the Unbox Festival in Delhi at the end of this month on a collaborative project funded by the AHRC. I’ll be leading…

What constitutes success?

Self-mastery is the supreme victory–– much more to be valued than winning control over others. It is a victory that no other being whatsoever can distort or take…

The voice in modern composition

There are natural limitations of the human voice which present us with challenges. Amongst these are the difficulty of pitching by ear—as opposed to most instruments’ fingering or…

Lisp Code to generate double harmonics

In response to Russell Snyder’s request for my code to generate double harmonics (natural) on the viola d’amore, I’ve abstracted the following from my piece 24-7: freedom fried….

Anne La Berge performing the premiere of "hyperboles are the worst thing ever" in Amsterdam on 15/6/14.

hyperboles are the worst thing ever
(aka Epimenides would have been gutted)
Amsterdam

Since August 2013 I’ve been working on hyperboles, a series of pieces that allow musicians to tweak the algorithm parameters that are used to generate the work’s score, sound…

their faces on fire, San Marino

Gianpaolo Antongirolami and I premiered my new piece for baritone saxophone and computer their faces on fire in San Marino on June 20th 2014. It’s 100% algorithmically generated, and…

film music composition feedback

Some facebook posts and resultant comment threads are worth saving. This one, prompted by having to grade some film music composition, is, in my opinion one of those, mainly…

Is there a common practice in modern composition today?

If we look back to the compositional world surrounding Bach and Handel, or Mozart and Haydn, most people will see more stylistic commonalities than divergences. Is this merely…

Music Theory MOOC

This course, from the University of Edinburgh’s Reid School of Music (recently ranked first in the UK), is suitable for those who have never studied music academically. It will introduce you…

edimpro on BBC Jazz on 3 from the Edinburgh Festival

On August 18th 2014, edimpro—the free improvisation group I started at the University of Edinburgh in 2009—played at an Edinburgh Festival live broadcast concert for the BBC’s Jazz…

for rei as a doe

My 40-minute algorithmic composition for piano and computer came out on the Aural Terrains label this month. Rei Nakamura premiered it in London (partial version) and Stockholm (complete version)…

PechaKucha talk

On December 6th 2013, along with some colleagues and old students, I contributed to a PechaKucha evening in Edinburgh devoted to New Music. The 20x20second slide format is a…

better a broken bone

A new release of freely improvised music featuring me on saxophones and electronics, Christos Michalakos on drums and electronics, and Jack Weir on electric guitar is now available…

Kolam

The self-similar properties of visual patterns generated by Lindenmayer-Systems can be apprehended holistically almost instantaneously. Even simple rules can generate pleasing patterns of the sort you might see…

Bad Alchemy review of slippery chicken

Rigobert Dittmann’s Bad Alchemy 75/12 review of my slippery chicken release has to be the best I’ve every received. Not because it’s the most flattering, but because the writing style…

slippery chicken recordings

A multi-format, surround and stereo recording of five of my compositions made with slippery chicken is now available for order or download. Made possible by a grant from the…

not us

Not Us by Not Us Fritz Welch and I have just released not us, a studio album made in my Edinburgh flat (in the sauna, actually). Recorded and…

lapslap – granita

Our fourth and final (for this series at least) lapslap CD is now out on Leo Records. As the booklet text below attests, in contrast to our previous…

Communications of the ACM article on Algorithmic Composition

In 2009 I was approached by the editor of the Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery—the world’s oldest computer science journal apparently—to write an article on algorithmic composition….

you are coming into us who cannot withstand you, Freiburg

For Ensemble Aventure, Freiburg, Germany. The title of this piece is taken from the poem “Final Notions” by Adrienne Rich (1929-): It will not be simple, it will…