Hey, remember that music box kit I was playing with a few months ago? Vi Hart had the brilliant idea of twisting the paper into a Möbius strip! This effectively doubles the length of the music and presents an interesting compositional challenge. Check out the video!
Oh, I’ve been bitten by this mechanical music bug big time. I’m now working on composing some new music for an orchestrion. This will be no mere weekend-long project (as most of mine tend to be), and hopefully I can share some audio snippets with you as work progresses. I imagine most of you don’t [...]
Etude in G Minor, 1983 I thought it might be a good idea to catalog and record all my old piano pieces, many of which exist solely in my head, and haven’t been notated or recorded. “Etude in G Minor” is something I used to play a lot in 1983, during a period when I [...]
Fans of my Whitney Music Box will certainly want to check out IanniX, a highly graphical music composition software program based a pioneering system (UPIC) developed by the late Iannis Xenakis. Xenakis was an influential stochastic composer who had a background in architecture (he was the principal designer behind the Philips Pavillion at the 1958 [...]
This weekend, after adding stereo support to my software synthesizer, JSyd, I added three new stereo variations to the Whitney Music Box. These are fun to watch and listen to with headphones. Variation 14 Variation 15 Variation 16
You may have noticed that I haven’t been blogging much the past few weeks. This is because I’ve been furiously working on a rewrite of my software synthesizer, Syd, originally written nearly 10 years ago. Syd is a digital music program that is designed for teaching basic computer music and synthesis concepts. I used Syd [...]
Wheel Music is another music visualization, using similar techniques to those I used in my Whitney Music Box. Each dot in the animation represents an individual note you are hearing. The notes are slowly traveling around in a circle. Each square represents a different tone cluster, or chord. Colors represent note values, and the radius [...]
One of my favorite composers, Gyorgy Ligeti, died this morning at the age of 83. Time for a little Lux Aeterna.
I’ve been examining the visual patterns produced by the Whitney Music Box (see previous post). If you watch the animation for any length of time, you’ll notice that the dots form spoked or starfish-like patterns periodically. These patterns often cause chords to be played by the music box. I was curious to understand the sequence [...]
This weekend I’ve been playing, once again, with the ideas of experimental film pioneer John Whitney, using both graphics and audio. While Whitney was interested in turning musical ideas into motion graphics, I’m doing the inverse — turning one of his key animation ideas back into music. Whitney made a number of films based around [...]