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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Xenakis: Mycenae Alpha



When I first encountered Mycenae Alpha about 1994 it was by listening to a CD I found in the library. I was immediately grabbed by the music, the very lively and dynamic textures struck a chord in my head. I had always heard compositional ideas swirling around my brain, but I hadn't really ever heard anything like it in the real world. Mycenae Alpha was the first time I heard something that paralleled what I had in my head and was trying to bring out into the real world. When I learned about how the music was made, my conception of how to make was transfigured. I had struggled with learning Western music theory and composition; and I found the computer music software of the time perpendicular to my creative process. I wasn't able to get access to a UPIC machine so I had to begrudgingly lay those compositional ideas to rest and find a way to get there. Shortly after, building upon my frustration of working with computers as well as inspiration by their possibilities, I spent a year working on software to control computer music synthesis in realtime using joysticks. This was another approach to an interface that enables exploration along the lines of the UPIC. The final chunk was filled when I discovered Pure Data and its graphical structures, allowing me to combine the immediacy of the joystick with the graphical score of the UPIC.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Vitriolix said...

I love the textures in this. Is this drawn with ink and paper?

10:19 AM  
Blogger .hc said...

My guess is yes, but I don't have specific information.

11:31 AM  

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