Based on the good experience we had with last term's class, especially the use of 'special guest stars' to discuss different viewpoints about computer-aided musical analysis, we've decided to continue with the same approach, i.e. the employment of talented visitors as an essential feature of the course. We're going to shift into a new area, though: the exploration of technology -- software and hardware -- used for interactive musical performance. As before, we will be using this framework as a way of showing various tools and techniques related to contemporary computer music, but it won't be a straightforward "tools and techniques" class. Instead, we will be covering a range of topics related to real-time musical performance and using an array of different packages to demonstrate the concepts we discuss. You may use any or all of the methodologies we show, or you may want to develop your own strategies for working up applications to try in the class.
Make note of that last sentence. For this class to function well, we will be expecting you to create patches/code/processes/whatever to try with our guests (wow, brad actually requires stuff in his grad seminar! yikes!). Don't worry, the course is intended to be "experimental", so please don't think that what you develop has to work, or even be 'good'. This is a chance to find out what's possible! We'll also be very available this term to help you put together things to try. Because this will be a relatively 'hands-on' class, we will necessarily cover the more mundane aspects of doing interactive musical work that we sometimes overlook when presenting the more theoretical concepts of real-time performance (how to mic a sitar? what sort of feedback does a performer need? and what about feedback?, etc.).
One final comment: musical interactivity is a HUGE topic
to cover, and we will obviously have to limit what we can present
in the time alloted for the semester. Don't feel constrained by
what we are able to accomplish. We will certainly try to incorporate
the extant basic approaches in the course, but what we chose to highlight
will reflect our particular engagement with interactive technologies.
At the very least, this class will provide a chance to try out a lot of
interesting ideas with supremely skilled musicians. Who knows?
It might even lead to some extended collaborations, or WHOLE NEW
WAYS OF THINKING ABOUT ZEE VORLD!!!!!!!
Because a few of the performers have conflicts with the Tuesday class meeting time, we will occasionally be rescheduling the class towards the end of the semester. We will try to make sure that the rescheduled classes work for all of us.
Here are a few links to software that we probably will be using in class:
Please let us know if you are having
problems gaining access to our facilities or getting equipment to work
for you. In general, if you are having difficulty
understanding the programming paradigms
we are using, or getting the hardware/software to work for you, be
sure to talk to us. We'll be happy to sit down and work through
any issues with you.
Check to see when our Special Guest Stars will be
We'll also try to keep up with linking in class patches and examples,
but we may fall behind. Yell at us when we do.
It's always a good idea to make an appointment to see me, even during my purported office hours, because I often have to run around campus like a maniac doing strange, computer-music stuff. If you need to contact someone at the CMC or Music Department using your actual voice, the relevant phone numbers are:
I say this every year, and generally people believe it (I think): by this point in your career the last thing you should be worrying about is a grade. The main thing is to find something that you'd really like to do and then do it. Please don't try to impress us with your consummate knowledge and skill, we are more impressed by people who do things. Honest!
Hope you enjoy the class!