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Notes on the Synthesis of Music

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Andreas Bulling.

Can programming languages help us to free our creative potential? Formalised descriptions of data, events and process have clearly been used to great effect within academic and industrial settings but could they also be useful in artistic contexts?

This talk introduces Improcess, a novel cross-disciplinary collaborative project focussed on the design and development of tools to structure the communication between performer and musical process. One of the core outputs of Improcess is the continued development of Overtone a Clojure front-end to the state-of-the-art realtime sound synthesis engine SuperCollider. Overtone is currently being established as a music platform for both research and performance. It facilitates a truly exciting high-level exploration of musical ideas such as the design and structure of sound, the coordination of multiple concurrent performers and the creation of a semantically rich meta-model for musical concepts capable of being projected to an arbitrary number of bespoke Domain Specific Languages.

Through live coding, monome button bashing and loud music performances such as synthesized dubstep, we’ll dive into the architecture of the system and explore some of the deeper computational questions that working in a musical context forces you to answer. Finally we will emphasise the importance of musical notation – not just from an ethnomusicological perspective but also as an opportunity to explore the design and application of programming languages in novel contexts.

This talk is part of the Wolfson College Lunchtime Seminar Series - Wednesdays of Full Term series.

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