Artificial Improvisers (June, 2015)
My final research for my M.F.A. in Integrated Composition, Improvisation and Technology at the University of California, Irvine. My capstone project and research focused on creating computer improvisers, developing interactivity, algorithmic composition and engaging with methods of human-computer interaction. The results of that research – including my final paper and musical projects – are at the links below. This research was also presented at the Eureka! Conference at the University of California, Santa Cruz
Musical Interactivity Through Alternate Controllers (June 2014)
Includes background research on musical alternate controllers before discussing my own use of an xbox controller for live synthesis. Also includes 11 recordings demonstrating my use of the xbox controller.
The Musical Style of Herbie Nichols
Read the paper here
The Improvisational Techniques of Henry Threadgill (Fall 2014)
Read the paper here
Creating Bionicity: Artificial Intelligence and Telematic Music (Fall 2014)
This paper is the start of ideas I have been exploring in AI and telematic music. I consider this paper a very rough overview of many concepts and ideas I plan to extend in the future.
Telematic Computer Conductor
This piece was performed telematically between UCI and UCSD in Fall 2014. Both locations were linked sonically and visually. The piece used a shared score projected in both locations that was composed in real time by a composer in both locations as well as a computer composer.
Computer Assisted Improvisation (April 2014)
This was the origins of later work I completed using a computer to ‘conduct’ group improvisation. In this iteration a collection of improvisations were recorded based on a very simple patch I made (built in MaxMSP) that gives instructions to each performer in the form of a single line of text, at various times (decided by the patch).
A series of duet improvisations organised by Paul Taylor Sinclair. The improvisation are based off a chance selection (chosen from a coin toss involving 6 coins, that are to be carried at all times) from I Ching (Book of Changes). One member of the ensemble throws their coins and then reads the chosen passage to themselves and then begins the improvisation.
This was my first work designed to explore human-computer interactions based on improvisation. The computer part listens to both the drums and saxophone through a microphone on each and then “musically” performs through a guitar and bass sound.
iSax v0.1 (July 2014)
One of my early experiments in using existing technology to create an alternate instrument. Includes an original composition and a rendition of Rainbow Connection
The original concept of Zert was to explore orchestration through the use of a slightly unusual larger ensemble. With orchestration in mind I aimed to showcase each individual performer at one time or another throughout the piece.
Each performer was also given a common object with a piezo element attached ; a cardboard box, a can and a water bottle. This was then processed and the pitch/volume analysed in MaxMSP to generate data based off the subsequent pitch/volume heard by the object. This information was then run through various sounds generators in MaxMSP.
Other Research Interests
Other topics of interest that I’ve presented research on include:
- Paul Hindemith’s Das Nusch-Nuschi
- Little Richard
- Rhythm in the Arabic Maqam
Game Audio Interviews
As part of my work with the Game Audio Network Guild (GANG) I have the chance to interview various composers and sound designers. Links to the interviews (hosted on the GANG site) below. More details here
Lennie Moore and Franck Sauer on the OUTCAST Reboot (April 2014)
Inon Zur: Game Audio, Composing and Conducting (August 2014)
Chuck Russom – Recording Guns (October 2014)
Mikolai Stroinski discusses The Vanishing of Ethan Carter Soundtrack (December 2014)
Chance Thomas and the Music of Dota 2 (January 2015)
Peter McConnell talks Grim Fandango Remastered (February 2015)
Finishing Move Inc. on the Halo 2 Anniversary Sound Track and Massive Chalice (March 2015)
Tom Salta on Halo Spartan Strike (May 2015)
Watson Wu Interview (June 2015)
Jeff Ball Interview (July 2015)
Chance Thomas – Composing Music for Games: The Art, Technology and Business of Video Game Scoring.
Dren McDonald on Gathering Sky and Gunman Taco Truck
In 2010 I had some general questions for Sean Wayland about composition and music. We ended up turning it into an interview style scenario, and since then he’s posted it on his site here and it’s been reposted on the Australian Jazz Realbook’s Site and now 4 years later I’m finally uploading it to my site.