From XPUB & Lens-Based wiki


Thesis Outline


Project Proposal Final

Project Proposal 4

Project Proposal 3

Project Proposal 2

Project Proposal 1

!dea 3

Want to explore the fragility/precariousness of improvisation and collaboration as a methodology to find the areas of agency within an existence of systems.

  • resistance of capitalism
  • change from the patriarchal power system
  • against the embedded narrative of "survival of the fittest"
  • the agency of the everyperson

Id3a 2

I want to explore the relationship we have with complexity as individuals, within society, and as a force for agency or oppression. Taking music as my subject focus, I plan to examine the process of practice, distribution, and education as it has been shaped by complexities within and from the outside.

Looking at events in music ranging from the music as a narrative tool, the birth of western musical notation, the birth of recorded music, the rise of radio, computer music, and where we are today. I want to explore not only the systems that make up different musics, technologically and culturally, but also the systems outside of music like politics and economics that both enabled and hindered its development in different ways.

As the existence of music is universal, it can be used as an example to examine these forces that not only affect this particular part of our existence. This also relates to my practice as it allows me to unite my disperse methodologies. I plan to explore these affects on my personal ability to understand, create, expand, perform and publish music. Outside music, this methodology too is readily applicable to many other of my practices.



need to update with new idea from Steve

  • Still need to specify some questions. Why do you want to investigate the individuals in complexity and why music.
  • Sounds like it is a historical thing.
  • A bit broad (unanimous)
  • Daily experimentation (hackpact)
  • Doesn't understand whether looking at music as a narrative? The immateriality of music or performance and narrative that can describe complexities of society?
  • Oral tradition : what do you mean?
  • Picking a specific element, if try and cover it all it will be too surface
  • Like it when the thesis starts with a question. Therefore opens the core question leading to the rest of the thesis.
  • Focus.
  • Giu: interested particularly as music as a narrative tool. Focus on this point as sharing information through sound.
  • Paula: interested particularly Music as a collective experience for those who take it in, or music as political demonstration.
  • Wouldn't focus on music notation history. Interesting but brings you too far and have to say too many things.
  • Don't use phrase "creative process"
  • Emotional relationship one will have with the machine. Intricate to Jam with someone, but what is it like to jam with a machine. What is the form of the instrument? What does this do to the relationship with the machine.
  • study agency between human and technology. But doesn't understand where the critique will come. Does understand how one will show the complexity through music.
  • Seems that I want to say that music is a medium to transport information
  • Paula: believes that it is an open exploration rather than a call for critique.

!dea 1

Loosely my thesis is based around human agency withing systemisation. I'm using technology and music as a playground to examine this issue in isolation, building up software to play with while trying to better understand pre-existing conceptual systems surrounding music, technology and society.

Eventually I would like to look at the societal context that both music and technology live in and the standardisation of both.

Standardisation as a strategy for :

  • Democratisation
  • Control
  • Simplicity

Examine the phenomena of systemisation through the history of music and how the standardisation affects the current state of human agency.

Using music to look at themes of system complexity, abstraction, and scale as applied to technology in general. Considering the roles of the specialist, and the everyman, the majorities and minorities, the able and the differently-able.



Sound experimentations in response to the Steve Challenge :

"what is the smallest action you can make to explore your idea?".

Rather than starting from scratch, I built upon the project I built for De Player. I removed the digital synthesis and connected it via MIDI to my modular synthesiser, and removed the TGC3 specific controls connecting it instead to my MIDI pedal. Initial result are quite unsuccessful...

It is sadly not musical, but it does outline the issue of agency vs the machine. As the machine has no technical or physical restrictions, it out plays me at every stage. It does also outline my personal ability and the work I need to invest into building up my stamina and technique. It is a nice challenge to at least try to keep up with the machine.

Sadly though, the experience is totally one sided, aside from the MIDI pedal, I have no interaction with the generative process. I would like to change this so that at the very least it will generate from my playing. Now I resort to really restricting the generative process so as to have some agency in the music making. By slowing down the tempo and limiting the length of phrases, I was at best able to play along with the generative melody. Also by changing up the pattern regularly there was no implied "correctness" to the playing and I was free to play around rather than imitate.


Recorded experimentation playing with one pattern effecting the synthesiser only. Then transcribed pattern and melody, attempted to play it on the sax with only metronome. Spliced the two recordings together without any regard to time.

Experimentation 2 Experimentation 2 Synth Segment


Attempted to get a note doubler working in PD. Not difficult to do at a rudimentary level, using pitch shifting, but to synthesise it through midi it more difficult. Note off values posing to be problematic.

Look into OSC to see if that is a part of the data. Might be a whole bunch of different issues with OSC.

Patterns that resemble the algorithms are becoming more natural to play, starting to find some comfort within them allowing some expression. Also finding some nice guides in regards to algorithmic composition. Will have a look at them and see what is interesting/useful.



eve degoyon

  • pidip

rm -rf : fuck the system

xxxxx book

AP (martin howse and Jonathan Kemp)

and inadvertently influencing me to go the route of improvisation.


9 Oct 2017

Consider the parameters that the music making is within, both from the position of the machine and that of the saxophoning. Units of Probability inherently within language, music and algorithms.

Consider the groundwork of a language. The "software" of jazz music making in the notation, the recording, distribution etc. Consider these within the space of your practice in between the background of traditional jazz, and software instruments. bl What place do I have in regards to the machine? Am I in competition with it? Is it augmenting my music, or informing it? The SEER machine that due to its inhuman a-considerate attitude out plays people in games of "odds and evens".

Roland Kirk creating music in reflection of current environment of media technologically or societally.

  • Rip Rig and Panic
  • Inflated Tear
  • Prepare Thyself to deal with a Miracle

Teo Macero using the studio as an instrument, directly manipulating the technology of multi-tracking, cutting, splicing and post-processing as a creative tool.

The technology of music as affectors of its production, distribution, and cultural situators.

Listen to Morton and Cage Interview about music making etc.

Roland Kirk and John Cage : Sound? movie.

Interesting book The Rest is Noise : Listening to the Twentieth Centruy.


9 Oct 2017

Consider the simplicity of the Euclidean equation that generates the musical rhythmic pattern. The existence of many other simple formula to explore complex, chaotic systems and patterns like the logistic equation. As being in regards to pattern, chance and small but dynamic recursion.

Music and technology references

  • Dan Stowell : [1]
  • Rob Hordijk
  • Christian Wolff : colleague of Cage and Feldman
  • John Zorn : Cobra

Found John Zorn on Improvisation


11 Oct 2017

(his notes)

Alan Kay : Xerox Parc

Try and find Marloes' presentation at Transmediale 2016.

Dave Young (UK) old xPub student.

Suggest music over networks. Combine patches over networks and make it playing with an orchestra of computers.


  • Reactivity to my playing in the software
  • Restrict tonality per-generation?
  • Tone, Amplitude and Rhythm analysis?
  • Regular Saxophone practice

In keeping with the mentality of open source and the pursuit of knowing the systems we are working with, I plan to self-service my saxophone. This is not only well overdue, but a good step in understanding the construction of my instrument and possible hacks and modifications I can make down the road. Building in some hardware/software elements into a well established instrument could be very interesting.


In a reflection of my difficulties playing with the algorithmic instrument, where I was forced to constrain it so as to have some agency while playing, I have thought about switching the roles. I want to take a tradition from jazz music, and transcribe the software instrument patterns, and apply them to my playing. This will not only have me somewhat succumb to the software, but also it will develop quite a strange hybrid language of my playing.

Also I will be thinking of patterns a little further outside the realm of the theory that I have been trained within. I'll be learning non-regular patterns which are unconstrained by meter, or key - yet still strictly rhythmical. By further applying traditional practice techniques, I plan to develop this language across my entire instrument in all twelve keys so that it can be applied outside the scope of this project.



algorithmic composer : Has a good tutorial for scale quantisation in PureData and more specifically this for tone rows so as to define scales outside of normal patterns.

tap tempo

MIDI Controller

Repurposing an Ableton Push 1 to control pure data. re-purpose the proprietary.

Ableton forum post about sysex messages and a really nice guide with examples can be found here. : Midi Messages : rtMidi Tutorial

References : Les Ateliers Claus (be) : John Laporta Three Moods : Teo Macero And Bob Prince ‎– What's New? (1956) - Vinyl Full Album : Paul Davis, 20 years of open source audio, success failure and the in-between : Radical Software : Guardian article on the Underground in Music : Guardian article on Free Improvisation : Online book about computation and creativity : Article : Mattin Iles . Noise and Capitalism : Arteleku Archive (with good publications) : AP . Martin Howse and Jonathan Kemp & Yves Degoyon : Tools to Fight Boredom . Marloes : the artBollocks language : Resisting the Gig Economy : Generative Music Presentation : Steve Reich Interview : Neural Networks for generating music : Re-contextualising the discourse of the immigrant in italy through music. Sharing liknesses with the DIY scene : Music for a mouse


  • Stenger, I., 2015. In Catastrophic Times: Resisting the Coming Barbarism. United Kingdom: Open Humanities Press.
  • Mansoux, A., de Valk, M., 2008. FLOSS+art. London, United Kingdom: Mute Publishing Ltd.
    • Particularly essay by Thor Magnusson
  • Radio Web Macba. (2017). SON[I]A - Matthew Fuller. 245. [ONLINE]. 11 August 2017. Available from: [Accessed: 14 August 2017].
  • Radio Web Macba. (2017). SON[I]A - Michel Feher. 215. [ONLINE]. 15 October 2015. Available from: [Accessed: 19 July 2017].
  • Radio Web Macba. (2017). SON[I]A - James Pritchett. 166. [ONLINE]. 15 November 2012. Available from: [Accessed: 24 July 2017].
  • Fuller, M., 2007. Media Ecologies : Materialist Energies in Art and Technoculture. Cambridge, Mass., United States: MIT Press Ltd.
  • Demos, T., 2016. Decolonizing Nature - Contemporary Art and the Politics of Ecology. New York, United States: Sternberg Press.