User:Eastwood/research writing/ThesisProposal

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Graduate Proposal : Draft 1

What do you want to make?

For my final project I want to make an improvised music performance piece that reflects on our situation within complex manmade systems. I want to make algorithmic synthesised instruments with which I wish to play my saxophone. Using the music culture that comes from my training as a jazz musician and that of the machine which has a very different motivations, I wish to examine the place of the human within complex manmade systems.

it's only you and the saxphone , or you're playing saxphone with the synthesised instruments ? How would u manage the interactions between you and the machines, by only sounds or any other methods?

is the space also involved during the performance? if so, what kind of space would it be?

Why do you want to make it?

I want to make this project as a critique on how human agnecy within the complexities of systems that we have created and live within. By putting two discrete systems together that, for the most part are functionally complex, I want to examine what power, if any, the we have.

The two systems I wish to pair are musical notation and practice in the form of Jazz improvisiation alongside algorithmic synthesised machine music. Both parts built upon human egos of intelligence, creativity and beauty, I plan show that the machine and musical culture has more of a hold on the outcome of the performance than the performer does. In addition to this, there will be the presence of the physical instruments, themselves carrying their own contexts and systems.

Relation to larger context

I want this project to act as a tool to examine human agency within systems. By isolating two inconsequential systems, I wish to highlight that even relitively simple yet functionally complex systems have impositions upon human agency. I hope that this can be a starting point to then examine larger, more complex human systems that urgently need attention.

Who can help and how?

Aymeric Mansoux will be able to help me a lot as he also has worked with programatic music. Emily also suggested Joel Ryan who is a lecturer in Sonology in the Conservatorium in Den Haag. I would also benefit from the expertise of Peter Fengler from De Player.

Outside these specific people, I would also be interested in experimenting in spaces such as the analogue sound studios at the Conservatorium of Den Haag, and WORM. Beyond the Netherlands I would like to pursue some connections I have in Paris at IRCAM.

How do you plan to make it?

I intend to use a combination of programming, analogue synthesis, and musical theory to manifest into an improvised performance. I want to utilise pure data and/or supercollider as my programming interface, along with midi controllers, and sound interfaces to effect and control both the acoustics of my saxophone, and the parameters of an analogue synthesiser.

What is your timetable

Initially I need to develop some of the digital tools I want to utilise in my performance, along with the stamina of playing the saxophone for extended periods of time. From this I need to be making regular recordings of my progress so that I may critique my progress.

Once a simple base of playing with machines is set, with simple algorithmic patterns, melodies and interplay between player and machine I should start performing this first incarnation to see how it translates to an audience within public spaces.

During this time, I will continue to develop the complexity of the interactions and the algorithms that shape the performance. Continually recording my progress on paper and through recordings.

what info/concept would u like to transfer to audience? or is it necessary to transfer your abstract concept to them? ( i also ask myself this question a lot o_0///)

[steve's comments: it seems to me to be about how YOU relate to this particular system; I think it is as much about machine agency as human agency = how machines make us act, how we adapt to their "needs",. I get this more from your "hack pact" experiment than from the draft proposal. Think about building from the ground up, start with a series of experiments and then consider the issues that are arising will be more generative and productive. On a very basic level any interaction shapes the actors within that interaction, be they machine or human. There is lots to talk about and read, but I think you should make more tests, keep a log and consider what is actually happening between you, the instruments and the software. Could be a very interesting project]