[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: microsound Digest 20 Dec 2000 16:19:58 -0000 Issue 214

> From: Scott Allison <Scott_Allison@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Just wondering if anyone was spent any time using the program M by cycling
> 74. I just downloaded the demo and was interested in anyones experience with
> it.

It should be noted here that, as someone who works with Cycling '74, my
comments may be construed as potentially issuing from a position of bias,
even though I've used M for probably half the lifetimes of some of you. :-)

I've used and performed with M in the past (although my real love was the
Markov-based "Jam Factory," also from Intelligent Music). In fact, I *still*
use it, although I've really moved quite some distance away from MIDI-based
work in the past 5 or 6 years. One of my C74 colleagues and I were just musing
aloud the other day that it probably wouldn't be hard to load a sampler with a
whole sheetload of little short glitchlets, configure the presets for M cleverly, and
use the conducting feature to amaze and delight a mystified audience.

I think the limitation that most of us run into is the notion that you've only got
four modules - although this can be gotten around in the ear of an audience by
setting up a kind of hocket where you distribute a different set of samples over
each octave [families, sort of] with similar pitch ranges [rather than straight ascend
and descending values - think of it as an octave of violin 440-880, followed by an
octave of piano 440-880, followed by a door slamming 400-800], and then distribute
your patterns across a broad range - which produces 4 or five perceived "instruments"
operating for each of the four voices. I used to scratchpad this stuff all the time, and it
work(s/ed) great.

The real problem you've got probably lies with being a MIDI person in a dominant
paradigm which is non-MIDI based and appears to go for a "sola laptoppa" kind of
orthodoxy. I'll bet you could fool a blindfold test, but to what end? :-)

My sense is that M is a sufficiently subtle tool that there are all kinds of ways
in which it can still serve as an engine for idiosyncracy. In a similar vein, I am
also convinced that there is much interesting work to be done with sseyo's koan -
it is, after all, more or less an implementation of Xenakis' Formalized Music. I
think there are all kinds of possibilities there, too.

In the midst of the recent exchanges about authorship, mystification, and tools,
perhaps M is an interesting place to start the discussion - is it the sort of tool that
so structures the lower-level tasks you assign it that it makes a "certain kind of
music?" Can one be said to make a piece with M, or make M pieces? Or, to be a
bit harsher - does M - apart from its structural features - have NOTHING to do
with the microsound aesthetic, even though one might use it to make pieces which
DO appear to be within the discourse?

gregory taylor (an M user since the Reagan era)
cycling '74

> thanks
> -scott

knowledge is not enough/science is not enough/
love is dreaming/this equation/Gregory Taylor/
WORT-FM 89.9/Madison, WI/ http://www.rtqe.net/