music system - algorithmic composition, generative music - Son-Net
- free music: Singles
about PMusic: Parallel Music
|• Parallel Music
(or 'PMusic') is a computer-based, algorithmic, indeterminate
music system which allows for the creation of compositions
that are different every time they are played - each playing
is more like a performance than a replay. In some respects
Parallel Music is a form of generative
music in that it generates unique musical experiences
each time it is activated; the key difference from many
contemporary systems, such as Sseyo's 'KOAN' however,
is in its application of the 'Son-Net' method (see below)
rather than the use of synthesis to originate sounds.
The name is taken from the fact that Parallel
musical events occur within this method - as opposed to
the Serial unfoldings of normal linear sound
reproduction (CD, tape, record etc.) It may also suggest
this way in which the music parallels your life by being
part of your 'here and now' rather than a fixed moment
PMusic is structured through the 'Son-Net'
Sons are sounds (or sound sources) which
are gathered, worked and preselected by the composer;
they are represented visually by a red circle (•).
Nets are a skein of rules which determine,
by random methods, choice of Son, its volume, number of
simultaneous Sons etc. as well as aspects such as panning
and overall duration; they are represented visually by
a green square ().
That the method is built from preselected sounds means
that the system is not entirely worked within the computer
but also incorporates dynamics from outside - in the 'real'
world - allowing for a poetics of composition.
Net and a collection of Sons within a 'Pool' (represented
by the larger blue circle)
The challenge of PMusic is to make works that
have a strong enough identity to be considered as definite
musical forms while exhibiting the full beauty of indeterminacy
- hence the motto 'always the same and never the same'.
A number of PMusic works have been developed during the
past ten years but it is only now, with current developments
in the web, computer processing speed etc. that PMusic
can start to become available to a general audience. This
year and beyond will see Chameleon Lectra continue to
release PMusic pieces (some for free, such as SINGLES
and 'Mobile Dawn'), continue
composition' projects such as Consemble
and The Sound Of The Field
and provide more detailed descriptions of the system in
the form of writings and interactive models.
Ramsay 18th May '08
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