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Stria by John Chowning

Stria corresponds to an intermediate point between parameter-by-parameter composition and automatic composition. Mr. Chowning declares that during the composition of the piece, he seemed to always want more and more control over detail and ended up for this reason with a large number of variables. Because he had spent many hours thinking carefully about controlling a larger-scale formal structure, he then wrote an algorithmic procedure called event2 that brought an even greater reward in compositional inspiration and control. Mr. Chowning believes that computers are fundamentally capable of providing more than is requested or envisioned, so that one feels, as a composer, enormously empowered—“not surprising, when one considers that a given hardware and software represents tens of thousands of human-years of thought about thought and invention” (Chowning 2004). [1]



1. Laura Zattra. “The Reconstruction of ‘Stria’: The Assembling of ‘Stria’ by John Chowning: A Philological Investigation.” Computer Music Journal (31:3, Fall 2007): 38-64.

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