Archive for November, 2014

GP. Development Session #2

Posted: November 28, 2014 in Global Perspectives.

27th Nov,

Looking back at last weeks session we decided we wanted to expand on the idea of a two player compositional game thats interactive with the audience. We want it to be musically and dynamically changeable and relatively easy enough for the beginner musician to get creative in jams in no time. Whilst playing the game last week we discovered the circle of fifths method of chord selection alone, would eventually randomly select a clashing chord progression.

 …Further Ideas,

For improving the graphics we like the idea of attaching each musical key to a planet and having the solar system as the visual representation on the interactive jam selection menu. We also liked the idea of the audience having the decision of what we play so we divided the play itself into three parts or choices..

  • The key of the music such as C, D, E, F, G, A, B,
  • The style in which the key is played like, Bluesy, Reggae, Country, Rock, Improv
  • The choice of which player plays the lead or rhythm

Before and during the performance these options can be changed but will have to be tried and tested after making the new slides. To help us visualise how it may look and because we don’t have access to max/msp at home, we made a paper mock up of the slides with the planets representing the keys, a list of the available chords in that specific key, and also the relative major/minor melody or lead options of the pentatonic version of that key

The controller or buttons will represent the three choices mentioned earlier and the next stage is to build the slides and visuals for the three choices


Due to other commitments the collaboration idea with Ash Hughes can’t go ahead. I will be expanding on my idea of game style improvisation using visual media as the triggers for change. I have started to experiment with Resoloom Avenue which is a software programme used for generating and manipulating graphics however after developing the idea of a cue card method, I have decided that Max/Msp will be able to provide me with exactly what i need.

The idea is to create a game were musicians can be prompted to change dynamics and musical key by a visual stimuli. The prompted change will be triggered by an audience member so that the musician can focus solely on the musical decisions. I also have invited another student Tim Miles on to the project as he is keen on the game idea.

Split Screen Improvising Game.. 

I had come up with a split screen method where two musicians can use the randomly selected images shown to symphonize an improvisation. These images would be basic shapes that represent the options in regards to where the improvisation can lead to within the boundaries of a chosen musical key. We spent about 2hours after todays project pitching session throwing ideas around, We talked about the different methods that musicians use when trying to come up with track ideas and Tim shown us an existing app called jam tracks..


I designed a few basic slides as if to be used as the images, here take a look. Slide10

Each shape would be on a separate slide and projected onto a screen so that the audience and the musicians could see. Notice the brief description of what each shape means in the key.. The screen would be split in two, left & right and a patch from Max/Msp would be able to generate the change between the images. The trigger can be anything from the space bar on a computer keyboard to a midi device button. A randomly selected image would be shown each side of the vertical split however not the same image on each side at the same time. for example


The musicians have the choice to play one of the chords or notes shown as letters inside each shape, however if the audience don’t like the improv jam they can press the trigger button to change the shape. These slides have been created using the circle of fifths. images

We decided to push on with the idea and went to see Aiden for some technical help. Within minutes we built a patch that could randomly generate a selection of chosen files.


After the project pitch session for Networking Music I discussed some ideas with Tim, he advised that my idea of starting up a platform/label for collaborations may be a little too ambitious for this point in time. Although i know a couple of local artists i am not established enough in Newport as a singer songwriter and he explained that to get good quality media i would need more than one camera and advanced editing skills. We also discussed how little time we have before the hand in date so i would like to re-turn my attention on to my own music as i haven’t released any material officially in regards to an EP.

Back to my original idea…

Today Is A New Day


Today is a new day is a 4 track ep in promotion to an albums worth of original material that can be released later next year. Finding session players has proven to be difficult so i have produced an effort of a backing track for one song already and aim to do so for the whole EP.

Promotional Plan

I will sign up to PRS for music and look into how i can reach out to a larger audience via Youtube, Spotify or Deezer ect. I will also shoot a video of me recording these tracks in my studio, using them as a back drop to a 2minute documentary film explaining the inspiration of how each track come about and a brief insight to the musical production. Maybe call them ”The Making Of Today Is A New Day”

I will then release one of these videos each week during December 2014 as a promo blog via Youtube and Facebook in order to promote the freemium digital EP for download at christmas time.

Project Pitch.

Posted: November 10, 2014 in Networking Music.










Week 5’s session was aimed at looking at the future of music collaboration. In the age of technology, online platforms and are constantly being developed such as Skype, Here is some more information..


The ongoing issue that arises with live online jamming is latency however the ability to collaborate using an arrangement platform is here check out a free online platform where you can invite users to join in on the project.

We were split into two groups (A&B) then sent out to local areas to collect a bunch of field recordings. My group went into the local market place where there was an arcade game store with some retro consoles available to play. I paid for a few games on the original PacMan console and recorded the sounds from the speaker. We were instructed to bring back the recordings to start a collaboration project between group A&B in different rooms using the field recordings Ohmstudio.

Ohmstudio Brief. 


At the end of the session we were asked to go home and individually download and contribute something to the arrangement using the ohm studio software and field recordings. We were free to include our own samples so i added a kik drum and an amen break. As i was the first to sign in and attempt this brief i was able to set the project tempo and create this..




Space is the Place

sun ra

We were introduced to todays lecture with the first ten minutes of Space is the Place, a film made in the 70’s starring Sun Ra and his Arkestra. Sun Ra is a visionary musician using costume, theatre and mythical characters to entice the audience. It is said that this method of performance..

”alienates itself from the human it arrives from the future. Alien music is a synthetic recombinator, an applied art technology for amplifying the rates of becoming alien. Optimize the ratios of excentricity. Synthesize yourself. (Eshun, 1999: 06-05)

 This approach to music performance and production is interrupting the natural order, perception and flow of things, an unorthodox way of bringing forth a reality that in other means may not exist on a daily basis. In the book Rave Culture & Religion, Graham St John also explains that dj voodoo was the first person to bring this concept the the night club.

”A visual accelerator, an activation tool designed to trigger cellular memories… re-igninting the DNA blueprint of the light body, enabling access to the higher vibration of the fifth dimension.” (p25 2003)   

Sun Ra’s music alienates itself from a human level, rather like the slave trade alienated the African people from there natural surroundings. By becoming alien you ”optimise the ratios of eccentricity.”  

”From the outset, this Postsoul era has been characterized by an extreme indifference towards the human. The human is a pointless and treacherous category. (Eshun, 1999:05)

Beyond Understanding.

”For twenty-five centuries, Western knowledge has tried to look upon the world. It has failed to understand that the world is not for the beholding. It is for hearing. It is not legible, but audible. Our science has always desired to monitor, measure, abstract, and castrate meaning, forgetting that life is full of noise and that death alone is silent: work noise, noise of man, and noise of beast. Noise bought, sold, or prohibited. Nothing essential happens in the absence of noise. (Attali, 1985: 3)”

The above caption is taken from Attali’s essay called ‘Noise. It is a great way of explaining that music or sound that is all around us everyday, it has a profound affect on us an unconscious level. We don’t always know what it is about a certain piece of music that encourages a particular reaction. Its on a sub atomic, sub-concious level of understanding.


”Hyperrhythm’s digital supersession of the human immediately alters your perception of the percussive act. As an actional event in timespace, drumming loses its solidity. Breakbeat science scrambles the logic of causation, opens up a new illogic hypercussion and superpercussion. (Eshun, 1999: 68)”

For Example..

Notice in this Enduser track how the drums at 2mins in are half time hip-hop style break beat, it possesses a humanist quality however when the track drops in at 3.20 the drumming is completely scrambled and the perception of a human playing this drum track becomes more intangible leaving you in a demilitarised zone of perception. In turn this is enticing the listener (me) on a much deeper level. Is this relating to the chaos inside of ones mind or the affection of my body in a way that i can’t help but make an attitudinal facial expression and move in time with the various rhythms.

Breakbeat science is the physics of rhythm. It impacts at levels barely explicable in the normal languages of sensation… Breakbeat science’s extreme rhythmic involution forcibly inducts you into a new motor system…”

”The body is being mutated limb by limb… by phizical convolutions that language hasn’t caught up with yet. Language drags its flabby arse after sound. Language lags behind the beat and must be mashed up. Your motorsensory system communicates paralinguistically from a future which today’s media can’t even begin to decrypt. (Eshun, 199: 070-071)”

Sensation for Posthumans. 

The human body is said to perceive and prepare for danger or make decisions up to 6 seconds before the actual event. This study taps into the unknown force of free will.. If decisions are made on a basis of experience and education does that mean that the fundamental force of all possibilities are dictating our way in life..?  ..meaning if our conscious decision is secondary to our brain activity, is there a duality between the conscious and neurological activity? John-Dylan Haynes says the conscious mind is encoded with and realised by brain activity.. Therefor, The unconscious won’t force you into something you don’t want to do as the conscious activity is encoded with your desires and moral beliefs. The body is immediately virtual as well as actual as they are different aspects of the same entity. See Professor Marcus Du Sautoy look into this further here..

This study ties into the Autonomy of Affect and also The Refrain mentioned earlier last week.

”Rhythmic psychedelia emerges when sonic events are in synch while out of phase, a process which leads to Gerald’s conundrum: “Does time work in rhythm or does rhythm work in time?” (Eshun, 1999: 076)”

”This requires a complete reworking of how we think about the body. Something that happens too quickly to have happened, actually, is virtual. The body is as immediately virtual as it is actual. The virtual, the pressing crowd of incipiencies and tendencies, is a realm of potential. (Massumi, 2005: 30)”


smart bars, nutria cafe, brain machines.. manipulating, System 7 developed music to manipulate music and entrain people..

”with an enthusiasm for ‘designer reality’, were humans’ alter their consciousness intentionally through technology.” (Rushkoff, p23 2003”

I think after this lecture it is fair to say there is a whole load of different things beyond our recognition thats happening in regards to experiencing music. What one might aim to achieve through writing music may be perceived completely differently by the listener.

Immersive Improv Through Game Play.

My initial idea is to create a piece of improvised music around game play. Id like the piece to be fully immersive for the audience as well as the participant’s and i would also look into creating the game in a way that non-musicians could positively and creatively engage with. I originally thought of having 3 or 4 midi controllers all pre-set with some samples or loops. Then engaging the same midi controllers to some sort of visual stimuli via Max/MSP or Resoloom projection software to allow the participants to create an interactive musical/visual improvisation piece. Here is a visual sketch of how it might map out..

photo 2


Whilst sharing these ideas in the group we saw that my project idea and that of Ash Hughes is very similar and I’m excited to announce we will now be working in collaboration for this final brief project. Here are some of our ideas we discussed today..

photo 1

 We both agreed on the projection mapping idea and whilst discussing the ideas we thought instead of having the projection as a focal point screen at the back of the room, it would be much more immersive for the audience and or players if there was a box in the middle of the room where the projections could be projected from the out side. Maybe the audience or the participants could sit and play the game from inside the white box? We also discussed the possibility of using games console controllers for the music and visuals..

”Just thinking about sitting with a games controller in control of music and visual projections on to this immersive white sheeted room is pretty exciting…”

Now all we need to do is bring these ideas together for our first practice/troubleshooting session. Here is a little research of projection mapping and where i have seen these ideas before..





Upon looking how this is done, Resoloom software seems to be the way forward.