Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 21 | Leonardo/ISASTwith Arizona State University
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Artists' Notes

  • Some Ideas for Three-Dimensional Musical Scores
    Marc Berghaus
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    The author discusses his explorations with notation in three dimensions resulting in sculptural scores constructed of wood, metal and glass.

  • Digital Economy Action: Composition by Participatory Piracy
    Stephen Cornford
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    The author discusses the inspiration and design of an as-yet-unrealized composition in which participants serve in the roles of composer, performer and consumer all at the same time. Provoked by the passage of a law restricting sharing and distribution of music files, he explores the potential for file sharing as a compositional process.

  • Dance Jockey: Performing Electronic Music by Dancing
    Yago de Quay
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    The authors present an experimental musical performance called Dance Jockey, wherein sounds are controlled by sensors on the dancer's body. These sensors manipulate music in real time by acquiring data about body actions and transmitting the information to a control unit that makes decisions and gives instructions to audio software. The system triggers a broad range of music events and maps them to sound effects and musical parameters such as pitch, loudness and rhythm.

  • Composing with Melomics: Delving into the Computational World for Musical Inspiration
    Gustavo Diaz-Jerez
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    The author describes his work with the Melomics approach to music composition. Taking the melody as its main object of study, Melomics, mimicking biology, implements a simulated evolution of music composition using generative methods. The goal of this work is to model the full process of professional music composition using sophisticated strategies for algorithm design.

  • Bringing Instrumental Musicians into Interactive Music Systems through Notation
    Jason Freeman
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    The author describes the use of real-time music notation software that allows laptop musicians and instrumental musicians to perform together in collaborative, interactive improvisation.

  • Optical Scores for Improvised Music
    Catherine Pancake
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    The author describes her creation and use of HD videos that serve as projected scores for improvisatory musicians. Each video score provides pulsing color and visual elements to inspire the improvisation group in performance.


  • Algorithms as Scores: Coding Live Music
    Thor Magnusson
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    The author discusses live coding as a new path in the evolution of the musical score. Live-coding practice accentuates the score, and whilst it is the perfect vehicle for the performance of algorithmic music it also transforms the compositional process itself into a live event. As a continuation of 20th-century artistic developments of the musical score, live-coding systems often embrace graphical elements and language syntaxes foreign to standard programming languages. The author presents live coding as a highly technologized artistic practice, shedding light on how non-linearity, play and generativity will become prominent in future creative media productions.

  • Crowdsourcing the Corpus: Using Collective Intelligence as a Method for Composition
    David Plans Casal
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    The author describes the practical application of crowdsourcing human intelligence as a form of collaborative music-making. Spectral decomposition of an original recording is used to derive components from original audio, and these are then offered as on-line tasks in which contributors are asked to record their own interpretations of each component. Components are then gathered in order to re-synthesize the original corpus, which is used to build an improvisation system. The author uses Bernard Stiegler's ecology of attention paradigm to situate crowdsourcing as an emerging form of public participation in music-making and Glenn Gould's ideas on performance and public access to position this participation as an act of composition. The work is offered as an illustration of the author's individual process as a composer for finding new notational pathways for collaborative practice.

  • Community-Based Design: The Democratization of Musical Interface Construction
    Owen Vallis
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    The advent of on-line communities has democratized the process of musical interface design and allowed users to directly participate in the future development of the devices they use. On-line communities, acting as centralized repositories for information pertaining to the development of an interface, allow users to discuss their experiences and ideas as well as providing a framework for managing information pertaining to an interface. This centralized access to information regarding the design, use and development of an interface both focuses and accelerates the developmental process.

  • Trading Faures: Virtual Musicians and Machine Ethics
    Nick Collins
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    Increased maturity in modeling human musicianship leads to many interesting artistic achievements and challenges. This article takes the opportunity to reflect on future situations in which virtual musicians are traded like baseball cards, associated content-creator and autonomous musical agent rights, and the musical and moral conundrums that may result. Although many scenarios presented here may seem far-fetched with respect to the current level of artificial intelligence, it remains prudent and artistically stimulating to consider them. Accepting basic human curiosity and research teleology, it is salutary to consider the more distant consequences of our actions with respect to aesthetics and ethics.

  • Transmediating a Japanese Garden through Spatial Sound Design
    Michael Fowler
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    There have been numerous artists, architects and designers whose encounters with traditional Japanese garden aesthetics have produced creative works. The author examines John Cage's Ryoanji, a musical translation of the famous karesansui garden in Kyoto, as an important musical precedent and uses it to position his own methodologies for transmediating the spatial predilections of the Japanese garden Sesshutei. He also documents various mapping techniques and data visualizations used to inform his recent multi-channel sound installation/performance environment, Sesshutei as a spatial model.

  • Annotating Distributed Scores for Mutual Engagement in Daisyphone and Beyond
    Nick Bryan-Kinns
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    Written and drawn annotations of musical scores form a core part of the music composition process for both individuals and groups. This article reflects on the annotations made in new forms of distributed music-making wherein the score and its annotations are shared across the web. Four kinds of annotation are identified from 8 years of studies of mutual engagement through distributed music-making systems. It is suggested that new forms of web-based music-making might benefit from shared and persistent graphical annotation mechanisms.

  • Social Composition: Musical Data Systems for Expressive Mobile Music
    Robert Hamilton
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    This article explores the role of symbolic score data in the authors' mobile music-making applications, as well as the social sharing and community-based content creation workflows currently in use on their on-line musical network. Web-based notation systems are discussed alongside in-app visual scoring methodologies for the display of pitch, timing and duration data for instrumental and vocal performance. User-generated content and community-driven ecosystems are considered alongside the role of cloud-based services for audio rendering and streaming of performance data.

  • Notating Action-Based Music
    Juraj Kojs
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    The author discusses the notation of action-based music, in which physical gestures and their characteristics, such as shape, direction and speed (as opposed to psychoacoustic properties such as pitch, timbre and rhythm), play the dominant role in preserving and transferring information. Grounded in ecological perception and enactive cognition, the article shows how such an approach mediates a direct relationship between composition and performance, details some action-based music notation principles and offers practical examples. A discussion of tablature, graphic scores and text scores contextualizes the method historically.

LMJ21 CD Companion: Beyond Notation/Notation Beyond

CD Contributors' Notes

2011 Leonardo and Leonardo Music Journal Author Index


Leonardo Music Journal, Volume 21

December 2011