Emotion and Probabilistics in Music with Max/MSP/Jitter

In this class, taught by composer and performer Lars Graugaard, we will have an introduction and musical demonstration of a recent realtime technique that uses multiple probability distributions. It permits creating natural-sounding melodic contours, rhythm patterns in pitches and accents as well as variations in duration and onset interval.

 

Emotion and Probabilistics in Music with Max/MSP/Jitter

Lars Graugaard
Wednesday, Oct 13, 7 – 10pm

When working with electronic music, one is often confronted with the need to make minute continuos variation that do not interfere too much with the basic sound and feel of the music. One way is to create all the details by hand, or to generate constrained randomness by means of markov chains or neural networks.

In this class, taught by composer and performer Lars Graugaard, we will have an introduction and musical demonstration of a recent realtime technique that uses multiple probability distributions. It permits creating natural-sounding melodic contours, rhythm patterns in pitches and accents as well as variations in duration and onset interval. The technique does not require training, and its output has proven to be more natural-sounding than computationally more expensive methods. The technique can also be used for flexible note-on quantization across several simultaneous beats.

In class we will see how it can be used to create fresh melodic material, to create variation to a given melodic line in conjunction with locked pitches and in a variety of less-obvious situations where sonic interest to fixed material is called for. The technique has the added benefit that the output is controlled by a small set of parameters. The class will also demonstrate how these parameters can be readily aligned for intuitive usage in emotion labels from the well-known 2D arousal-valence field. The technique also lends itself well to controlling certain large-quantity synthesis methods such as granular synthesis. The class will also contain an extended musical demonstration, and it will allow for hands-on according to get a feel for how the output is controlled. You are welcome to bring your own computer, to try out samples of the software.

Lars Graugaard is a Danish composer and performer with a PhD in interactive music and a degree in flute performance. He has been working with interactive and realtime music since the late 90s, but has since the early 80s composed more than regular 140 score pieces. Recently he has taken up the combination of intense rhythm and vast soundscapes in realtime laptop performance, using novel techniques to enhance the media’s capacity for expressive performance. Lars has composed three interactive operas, and Max/MSP/Jitter has been his main tool for developing musical ideas and performance scenarios. He is the artistic director of the Danish re-new forum for digital art, and the SUM research project – Systematic Understanding of Music – is one of the organization’s ongoing activities, apart from the annual re-new festival.
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