Noise As Input, Noise As Filter
A Compositional Approach by Kasper T. Toeplitz

Sat, August 23, 2014 at 3:00pm
FREE Admission (Suggested Donation: $10)
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Through the years my interest in music moved from working with sound to working on noise – when, at the same time (but it took years) my position in the (musical) world evolved from being a "contemporary" composer, writing symphonies, operas, string quartets or pieces for (mostly acoustic) ensembles to becoming a "noise" musician, a "noisician", or at least a musician deeply involved into (working with) noise and the electronics. Maybe as a paradox this quest of noise made me collaborate with contemporary dance projects, up to the point of sometimes using dancers as the only musicians for some compositions ("Capture") before turning them into instruments ("Inoculate?" or "Data_Noise")

The proposed workshop is not so much, or not only, a software workshop, but rather a composition course in electronic music which takes as its starting point the use of noise, similar to the (white) canvas of a painter or rather to the block of stone of a sculptor.

Considering the noise as the sole input, more attention will be paid to its internal structure as well to its different shapes and colors, including way to manipulate it from the inside, starting the composition on the input material itself rather that only on its transformations.

The noise can of course be created by strictly digital means but can also be “extracted” from the “real world” – which could be an instrument, some external noise, but also transforming some "data" captured into (noisy) sounds or some indeterminate way to control the created noise ; and the "data" can come from an image, from a webcam (stream of images of the reality) or the capture of the movement of a (dancing) body.

Noise, as in white noise, pink noise, black, fractal, etc, as the prime, or even only source for real-time composition/synthesis ; then we can work on blocks of sound and not on pitches, have “clouds” of sound with more or less precise limits – “uncertain limits” or fuzzy limits -, different textures of different densities. Close to the orchestral ideas of people such as Ligeti, Penderecki, Xenakis or Scelsi.

The examples will be given in Max/MSP and Jitter, but other softwares, or instruments (and analog synthesis) are welcome, as the workshop is much more about the “why” than the “how”, and the goal is to create a composition based on the ideas explored there.

Some of the exemples of pieces based on those ideas, and mostly with dance are

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