COMPOSING WITH PROCESS: PERSPECTIVES ON GENERATIVE AND SYSTEMS MUSIC #9.1
Two Discrete Generative Systems
Curated by Mark Fell and Joe Gilmore. Narrated by Connie Treanor.
The focus of the ninth episode in this series is a project entitled ‘Two Discrete Generative Systems’ by Mark Fell and Joe Gilmore. The works referred to in the title were developed separately and first heard together at Enjoy ArtSpace, Leeds, UK, on 29 April 2013. The recording presented here is an ambisonic room recording of the event which was open to the public. It is hoped that the works and their combination respond to some of the key themes addressed throughout the series.
Gilmore’s piece, presented on four loudspeakers, explores behaviours generated by a flocking algorithm. These behaviours are used to control the frequency and amplitude of four oscillators. The piece is presented as a series of ‘studies’ of fixed duration followed by one minute of silence. In each study the conditions of the flock are predetermined. Flocking is a description of the group bahaviour of living things such as birds, fish and bacteria. In flock simulations, the motion of each agent is dependent on the conditions governing the overall behaviour of the flock, and also on the interaction between autonomous agents. The three main conditions governing movement are avoidance, alignment, and coherence. Although flocking exhibits somewhat chaotic motion, in reality there is a complex set of behavioural interaction occuring between individuals in the flock.
While Gilmore’s piece explores tonality with multiple loudspeakers, Fell’s contribution by contrast uses a single speaker, centrally placed, playing rhythmic structures with a percussive single sound principally derived from the Linn kick drum. Among the arrangement of speakers a computer is placed on a plinth, this displays a collection of sliders that are used to generate and change the rhythm that is played. Audience members take it in turns to change the sliders and make patterns. The algorithm used to produce to rhythmic structures is based around groupings of durations and repetitions of temporal intervals. This simple structure generates a number of distinct patterns.