Music + Video
Through my lifelong fascination with art and music and my years in college and graduate school studying computer music and new media, my focus was on the development of new tools and techniques, and not necessarily on creative output.
I can't help myself sometimes, though.
Below are several projects and their accompanying music or video. Used to go by burnHeartSynth (before my shift in focus to making physical objects from programming and musicking) so they're mostly under that pseudonym. Scroll to enjoy.
I spent quite a bit of time working with the General MIDI sound protocol, and various sound libraries. Essentially, General MIDI is the default "synthesized" sounds on any computer. Where they used to enable music and sound effects in the small floppy disk bound games of the 90s, the sound of GM is ubiquitous.
November 7, 2014, I presented my Master of Arts recital, Celebrating 100 years of MIDI, featuring several pieces composed with various hardware and programs talking to a single General MIDI synthesizer.
cartMIDI was a small, cartridge-based MIDI song player, based on a simple ATTINY85 microcontroller running an arduino script generating a MIDI song live. Several catridges were made, each with their own base. The base is brass and Honduran Mahogany, and contains the power supply and necessary electronics to send MIDI from the catridge to a synthesizer.
The Original MIDI Generative Digital Audio Workstation Grouping, or OMGDAWG, was a program written in MaxMax, a program from 1989, running a generative MIDI script wired to a general MIDI sound font player. Running off of my 1987 Mac SE, running OS 7.
A new genre of my own (mildly ironic) invention, these pieces were composed using several noise cancellation, resampling and time stretching algorithms, coupled with suitable sound sources. My more palatable music.
I've flirted with actually notating music for players, though in a few different ways.
A piece for voice and electronics. It is an exercise in composing for spoken word and sung verse in a foreign language, in this case Icelandic. Instead of attempting to create a coherently written Icelandic libretto, I used markovian text generation to generate a new, five chapter Icelandic folk tale. All of the rest of the composition is informed not by translating the piece but by listening to the cues in the rhythm and pitch of the voice, alongside some general ideas of character development and setting. The electronics for the piece are a bowed string algorithm, based on Perry Cook’s model, and 8-channel spatialization of five sets of abstracted, related sound samples.
Composed with soprano Sarah Perez at UCSD in the fall of 2012.
An original composition, played by Aaron Wallace (Baritone Saxophone), Addison Mauro (Alto Flute) and Dr. Flip Phillips (Shortwave Radio). The piece centers around the extended techniques of flute and saxophone, the abstract sounds of a shortwave radio scanning the airwaves, and a digital computer augmenting the sound through a granular resynthesis patch run live during the show. This patch is sampling, pitch-shifting and stretching the sound as it is played. Performed Sunday, December 5th, 2011 in the main hall of the Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College.
Open was written for the Ensemble ACJW String Quartet in 2011, while a composition student at Skidmore College. Nearly all notes are the open strings of the violin (save for the lead line). Sheet music here.