Outlier of a long running family tradition in architecture, indiscriminately curious, I take a good look at everything life throws at me. These are my publications, some of which are available for download. The rest are not open access.
Fancy for 'improvised'. A lot of what I do sound-wise is improvised. Whether in idiom or freely, improvisation is my preferred modus-operandi. This section contains several examples of live electronics/coding performances and/or recordings of mine.
Barely linear. More often polymetric and polyrhythmic, inspired by you know who. Actually, compositions is not accurate, the closest would be comprovisations.
I like messing with old songs...
Surprisingly compelling, a modern take on jazz noir which successfully inhabits the style’s signature ambiance of bittersweet nocturnal heartache and emotional and temporal dislocation.
It is something of a cliché to say that an artist sheds fresh light on staple songs courtesy of an entirelyoriginal approach, but in the case of The Man Who Laughs it is simply the truth: the songs are made to stand out in all their stark beauty against backdrops that range from African drumming to free jazz and space bleeps.
Humble, strange, unexpected, The Man Who Laughs’ gig is as much an art performance as a concert. Their nocturnal and dream-like songs are an unusual experience, and gave the local residents of Walthamstow a soft electroshock.
The Man Who Laughs’ songs have the flavor of lost jazz standards from some forgotten smoky lounge in downtown America. Yet set against hints of Afro rhythm and interspersed with fragments of urban field recordings there is an odd sense of dislocation, something out of time, shot through with disconcerting echoes and submerged memories.
The Man Who Laughs – Duo with Fumi Okiji, performing original adaptations of old jazz tunes…with a twist. Some electronics, samples, and various other (more or less) cliches of sound manipolation. Active between 2008 -2010, it released the album “Deep Songs” – The Man Who Laughs, F-ire label, CD 38
Identity crisis. Looking for more suitable containers for the innate void of the human condition. In vain. But still, it's fun!!!
Interactive Music System were once classed into two types, instrument paradigm and player paradigm, but I'd argue that, due to the recent technological advances and increased affordances for both the human and the machine, this dichotomy can now be extended to include emergent and mutable systems, which I'd call environment paradigm. The latter can include both ecological approaches, installations, networked music performance and symbiotic tropes such as live coding.
"Instrument paradigm systems are concerned with constructing an extended musical instrument: performance gestures from a human player are analyzed by the computer and guide an elaborated output exceeding normal instrumental response. Imagining such a system being played by a single performer, the musical result would be thought of as a solo."
My contribution to Tom Mudd’s sound installation Control, set to investigate and explore the affordances of the interface design in new instruments.
Under the hood of my system, several chaotic processes morph the sound continuously. The degree of agency that the user is be able to exercise is limited and partial. Nevertheless, he/she will make belief and assign meaningful mappings between his/her actions and the sonic output. As you can notice, quick gestures do not produce a proportionate output. You really need to let it be to hear what it does…
"Systems following a player paradigm try to construct an artificial player, a musical presence with a personality and behavior of its own, though it may vary in the degree to which it follows the lead of a human partner. A player paradigm system played by a single human would produce an output more like a duet."
Agent-based models simulate the interaction of autonomous agents/individuals, and investigate their behaviour and influence within an environment. Agent-based models encompass many different fileds, such as game theory, complex systems, emergence, computational sociology, multi-agent systems, and evolutionary programming.
The Demographic Prisoner's Dilemma is a type of evolutionary game where all agents are indistinguishable and they inherit a fixed (immutable) strategy. It is a memoryless game in that each agent, at each stage game, has no knowledge of the past interactions. It is based on the Prisoner's Dilemma, a two-player symmetric game of imperfect information. On the right, simple blends for an audiovisual Demographic Prisoner's Dilemma. For more info, please refer to the papers I have written on this system.
Networked Music Performance is a way of performing or composing or anything in between whereby musicians are connected over a computer network. It comes in two flavours, depending on whether the musicians are co-located or whether they are in remote locations.
These game pieces for networked music performance are based on probabilistic graphical models (PGMs), Bayesian inference and game-theoretical approaches to systemic free improvisation. I have worked on two main models: Adaptive Markov Networks (or Adaptive Markov Random Fields…same egg different wrapping…) and Pairwise Markov Networks. The first are borrowing ideas from adaptive dynamical systems and economics, while the second are a repeated synchronous Bayesian game for pairwise musical interactions. For more details, please refer to the papers I have written on these systems.
Remote networked music performances are also referred to as telematic. From Wikipedia: "The term telematic performance refers to a live performance (art, dance, music, etc.) which makes use of telecommunications and information technology to distribute the performers between two or more locations. While this may involve use of conventional videoconferencing technology, it has more recently come to mean the use of internet technologies. Performance groups my also refer to their events as internet concerts, online jamming, or teleconcerts."
And let's not forget mathematics-based pitch or rhythm systems! Viva Pythagoras!
Examples starting from G: [G,B,D,F] – [A,C#,E,G#] – [C,Eb,Gb,Bb] [G,B,Db,F] – [A,C,Eb,F#] – [Bb,D,Fb,Ab] [G,B,D,F] – [F#,A#,C#,E] – [A,C,Eb,G#] [G,Bb,Db,E] – [F,Ab,B,Eb] – [D,F#,A,C]
Well, not really, but it is a nice one. Augmented fourth steer, 8 notes, 6 transpositions: C Db E F F# G A# B And loads of conventional harmonies in there…(if that’s what you like) As for the combinatorial formation, here it is: [C, G, Ab, Eb] [D, F#, A, F] [E, B, C#, A#] Expressed according to set theory, the prime forms for the above would be: 0378, 0347, 0239
As part of the NI Science Festival, that spanned across a month, on the 21st of February 2015 SARC opened its doors to the public, presenting a wide range of workshops, drop-in sessions and installations. For the occasion I demonstrated a few patches in Max which used a selection of controllers and infrared devices: The DIY sound-artist “Common and widely available game controllers are used to generate sound with a variety of synthesis techniques. Several stations are available for users to interact with in real-time, giving them the opportunity to use readily available commercial technology to create multi-media interferences. Turn your Rock Band 3 controller into a polyphonic synthesiser, your Wiimote into an audio scrubber and your Xbox Kinect into a granular engine.”
Between the 20th and 22nd of January 2015, 90 kids from secondary schools visiting SARC. A team of five presented to them some of the technology involved when working as a sonic artist or an engineer, including robotics, virtual reality and spatialisation/diffusion of sound. The format was ‘hands-on’ and they all had a go at with the equipment/resources available. Hopefully it will inspire them a little in wanting to do research themselves, sometime in the future?