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Computer Music Blog Posts

WOUWHI Dance Interface

At the 2pm paper session today, we heard from Dr. Joseph Harchanko, who presented a pretty impressive system for translating dance into music and video control data. The system is called WOUWHI.

wouwhi dance interface

The Western Oregon Wireless Human Interface, or WOUWHI … is an expressive wireless interface system designed for real-time creation of computer music and manipulation of video data. It was designed and built in collaboration between Scott Morse, … Joseph Harchanko, … and Sharon Oberst … The WOUWHI allows for expanded freedom in the temporal decisions of the performer. It allows for more spatial freedom than previous systems by means of the wireless connection between the performer and the computer. It is an ideal system for concert performance, choreographed dance, and installations involving real-time computer audio and video.

The notes don’t do it justice though. See it in action on the WOU website, or listen to Nadantha, a piece generated using the WOUWHI system.

Live-Blogging SEAMUS 2009

I just arrived at the new Sweetwater facility for the SEAMUS National Conference 2009. The facility is amazing, and although I missed the first few events (darn timezones!), I am excited to hear all the other work that is being presented over the next three days.

Here are my first pics of arrival and registration.

Sweetwater Facility

Sign In

Sweetwater Lunch

David Morneau on 60×365

At EMM, David Morneau presented a mix of 10 pieces called 60×365. Inspired by 60×60, Morneau wrote a 60 second piece every day for a year. The mix at EMM presented 10 selections from the year.

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Program notes:

Ten Minutes from 60×365
by David Morneau

The ten short pieces that constitute this collection are all drawn from my year-long podcast project, 60×365. For this project I am composing a new one-minute piece every day for a year. This began in July of 2007 and will conclude at the end of June, 2008. I am using 60×365 to explore a wide variety of musical styles and techniques, including musique concrete, sine wave synthesis, digital sampling, 8-bit constructions, process music, acousmatic composition, and post-techno beat manipulations. Each daily post brings something new and different, a constant variety. The daily deadline means the works sometimes lose their preciousness as they become explorations in process and method – with form or audience – as much as they are works of art. These ten pieces provide an overview of the entire project while maintaining coherence as a set. Individually they are: 60×365, Techno~Redux, Banwasjum, Organic, Loose Change, Scrub, Guitar Dream, Say What?, Rush, and String Cheese.

More music from David Morneau at 60×

Sam Tymorek on Stairs We Never Knew

At EMM, Sam Tymorek presented a generative MAX/MSP piece called Stairs We Never Knew.

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Program notes:

Stairs We Never Knew

by Sam Tymorek

Stairs We Never Knew is an attempt to make a music that sounds as if it is fighting against itself. The piece is relentlessly noisy; the distorted sounds, from a typical dance music drum machine, are resonated at dissonant intervals and thrown chaotically about in space. Gestures interrupt one another in an unpredictable manner that is controlled by live computer processing. On a large-scale level, the work is fairly static. It is the texture and behavior of the sounds, rather than their timbre, that are gradually transformed.

More music from Sam Tymorek at

Adam Scott Neal on Obedience School

On Saturday, I caught up with composer Adam Scott Neal. Neal was at EMM presenting a piece called Obedience School, which is based on samples of his dog.

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Program notes:

Obedience School
by Adam Scott Neal

The structure and most of the sounds in Obedience School are derived from a 14.5-second recording of a dog. The onsets of different sounds, such as a bark, a breath, or a footstep, determined the beginnings of formal divisions. The length of each section was multiplied by 40 to create the finished form, with a length of 9:40. Each section of the work focuses on a particular process with the original sound, although the other processes often interrupt or emerge from beneath the main sound. The processes were ordered in such a way to reflect the sounds from the original sample, but the correlation is not exact. For example, the metric attacks of the first section reflect the dog’s pseudo-metric footsteps, and the brassage-seagulls reflect his soft whimpering.

Adam is very 21st Century in his approach to distributing his music (perhaps this has something to do with his age?), so you can hear a lot of his music at

Madelyn Byrne on Arrival

At the 10am concert on October 18th, Madelyn Byrne was at EMM presenting a piece titled Arrival.

Program notes:

Arrival (mp3 is an excerpt)

by Madelyn Byrne

In this piece, travel serves as a metaphor for self-deiscovery, or its opposite – distraction. The sounds of travel and introspection, including traffic, trains, planes, breath, rain, and voice, are juxtaposed and eventually integrated. This piece explores the ongoing and multifaceted process of self-discovery and living with integrity. The song-like theme of Arrival is explored in four sections. Section A is introspective, section B makes use of homeland security announcements as a metaphor for manufactured fear; C is a peaceful resolution to the previous sections, and D is an optimistic projection forward. Arrival is scheduled to be released by Everglade Records on their forthcoming SoundingOut DVD.

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More of Madelyn’s work can be found at

Richard Zarou on Ad Vitam Aeternam

Richard Zarou was at EMM presenting a piece titled Ad Vitam Aeternam. According to Zarou, the piece “explores the harmonic and textural possibilities of the same musical material simultaneously being performed at multiple tempos.” Stylistically, the composition draws heavily on his background in a church that still performs hymns in chant.

Here is the version of Ad Vitam Aeternam recorded by Sarah Horick.

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Program notes:

Ad Vitam Aeternam
by Richard Zarou

Ad Vitam Aeternam, recorded by Sarah Horick, explores the harmonic and textural possibilities of the same musical material simultaneously being performed at multiple tempos. “To eternal life: Lord, have mercy.”

More of Richard’s work can be found at

Rob Voisey on 60×60

Rob Voisey operates the music promotion company Vox Novus, and he oversees one of electronic music’s most popular annual competitions: 60 x 60.

At EMM 2008, Rob presented a continuously running 60 x 60 made up with submissions from composers in the midwest.

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Program notes:

60×60 Midwest Minute Madness

60×60 Midwest Minute Madness is an installation of all of the works by Midwest composers presented by the 60×60 project from 2003-2008. The 60×60 Midwest Mix has been one of the strongest alternte mixes of the 60×60 project. This installation, the Midwest Minute Madness is the presentation of all the submissions from this region. Representing an aesthetic and geographic diversity of composers, the 60×60 is an annual electronic music project for concert and CD containing 60 works by 60 different composers where each piece is 60 seconds or less in duration. Since its inception in 2003, the 60×60 has promoted the music of hundreds of emerging and established composers, setting an unprecedented example among contemporary music organizations of its scale and larger. It has received approximately 100 performances worldwide and has produced three compact discs; and has collaborated with multimedia including choreography, video, and sculpture. In conjunction with the ideals of Vox Novus, the mission of the 60×60 project is to promote new music. The project is specifically designed to include a large number of composers and present their music to audiences around the world. The project has taken a “grass-roots” philosophy with much of its success due to its collaborators, hosts, and director who are composers themselves.

Jay Batzner’s 60 x 60
David McIntire’s 60 x 60