[CM] CM compositions on web

Terry Wisniewski terrywisniewski at gmail.com
Tue Jan 5 18:20:33 PST 2010

Hello Drew and interested list-members,

Thank you very much for your response Drew. I stayed up way to late that
night listening to your compositions and going through your website looking
at code.  I have found the file you suggested and am exploring your code
avidly to enrich my own understanding of how Common Music can be utilized.
Thanks for sharing!

I figured that my use of the term "gesture" would probably be awkward for
this little idea I am exploring, but it is the most descriptive term I have
come up with so far to represent everything that is added to or encopassing
the note or notes being generated to provide meaningful content to the
experience of the listener of the notes. It seems I am still bumping into
the basic issue that brought me to Common Music as a learning and
composition tool.

As I started learning about computer assisted composition, it seemed that
two methodologies had to be learned. First, note/sound selection and then
sound synthesis. That is, if I wanted the computer to be the instrument(s)
of performance. I spend half a year working with Supercollider going through
many tutorials and David's Cottle's material. It was great fun and really
good learning, but was not easy to get to algorithmic composition. I could
create some interesting synthdef's and program some nice little patterns,
but pretty much everything was hard-coded. I did not have the skill set yet
to create any of the algorithmic processes like markov chains, cellular
automata, lindenmayer systems or any of the other recognized methods. I had
not found or discovered a personally understandable model of sclang to get
there. So I searched elsewhere, Nyquist, Csound, Snd and finally discovered
Common Music. It was while reading  Prof. Taube's writing about the
meta-level of music and music composition that something clicked.

Now, that I have gained a little more understanding and programming skill, I
can generate notes, work with rhythm, dynamics, tonal and rythmic cadences.
But for me, the music is still more than this, and it is this "more" that I
would like to have alogorithmic understanding/control of.  I reckon it is
the sound synthesis piece that I need to explore simultaneously with the
compositional basics I am gaining through working to learn Common Music.

Pardon the prattle of an absolute beginner, I will keep working, learning,
and gaining understanding of my instrument.  I appreciate your response and
wish you the best.  I look forward to hearing more of your music and
learning from your code.

Terry Wisniewski

On Mon, Jan 4, 2010 at 7:18 AM, Drew Krause <drkrause at mindspring.com> wrote:

> Hi Terry,
> Nice to hear from you, and thanks for your interest in the organ pieces.
> I'm not entirely certain what you mean by 'gesture' in this context, though
> perhaps 'phrase' and 'motive' might be included in the same category (which
> might be called 'profile'?). I dunno .. algorithms by themselves do tend to
> produce static results, & I often find myself injecting 'profile' into the
> processes in any way I can.
> What was nice about the organ variations was that the source material
> already had clear phrases, motions, goals, etc. so that I could just play
> around within it, as it were. But it can be done using even entirely random
> processes....
> Elsewhere on www.wordecho.org you'll find "nudruz.lisp", which contains
> the bulk of the code I use. Some functions here, including 'strums',
> 'poissonvec', 'entropy', 'thinout', 'tendreg', & 'smooth->jumpy' work in a
> 'lumpier', more directional fashion. So gestures, I think, become possible.
> All best,
> Drew Krause
> Terry Wisniewski wrote:
>> Thank you very much Drew for sharing this.  I am a new user of Common
>> Music, I have worked through Dr. Taube's book and have started assembling
>> some basic methodology and my composition environment.  I have come to
>> algorithmic composition later than most in life.  I am soon to turn 50 years
>> of age.  I will learn much from the code you are sharing and I have enjoyed
>> listening to your compositions!
>>  May I please ask how you approach the idea or meaning of "gesture" as it
>> applies to your work with music and algorithmic composition?  Currently,
>> most of the list conversation centers around the programming/set-up of
>> Common Music and I have been wanting to talk about this with someone. Any
>> direction that you or other list members can provide would be greatly
>> appreciated. I think coming to a functional understanding of "gesture" will
>> be fundamental to creating compositions with greater depth and meaning for
>> myself and potentially the listener. Right now, in my learning progression,
>> I would say that "gesture", in some broad generalization, is the basis for
>> all meaning in music and music as a whole. Remember though, I am a complete
>> beginner to composition!  If I am thinking wrong please let me know.  LOL
>>  Is there some reading I should do?
>>  Terry Wisniewski
>> On Sun, Jan 3, 2010 at 6:35 PM, Drew Krause <drkrause at mindspring.com<mailto:
>> drkrause at mindspring.com>> wrote:
>>    Hello all,
>>    I completed 10 sets of organ variations with Common Music a couple
>>    summers ago, and I've just now posted the scores, MIDI files, and
>>    annotated Lisp code at:
>>    http://www.wordecho.org/organ/index.html
>>    They use CM code that I've made available elsewhere on the
>>    website. (I'm
>>    interested in sharing ideas about these techniques, so please
>>    write to me.)
>>    I'm also *very* interested in bringing these works to the attention of
>>    any organists who might be interested in performing them --
>>    Best,
>>    Drew Krause
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