new_ideas-March2015

new_ideas-March2015 documents the first 10 brainstorming sessions i had for coming up with new ideas for CompositionCloud. before each session, i randomly selected the duration of the session (5 to 30 minutes) and whether the ideas are to be limited to a specific category or topic in advance. categories were based on arbitrary categorizations of the possible media of ideas, and topics were derived from random articles, images, scores, sounds, websites, etc. as a result, in 3 of the 6 sessions in which ideas were limited in advance, i used sources from which i was unlikely to draw ideas otherwise: a late 18th century collection of keyboard pieces for amateurs (150313), a more than 120-year old article on Native American anthropology (150316) and a page of Wikipedia about the islands Wallis and Futuna (150326).

following the documentation of the sessions, are links to the more developed versions of the ideas as well as explanations of their role in CompositionCloud. even now, a considerable number of the ideas in CompositionCloud can still be traced back to these March 2015 brainstorming sessions. the use of text as the primary mean for notating the ideas can be seen as a precedent for the extensive use of verbal notation in CompositionCloud.
 
 

150311 free brainstorming (10 minutes)

01 slinky
02 structural divisions of an ensemble
03 a mute as a poetical idea: the struggle between an energy that wants to erupt and the thing that mutes it
04 a melody ?!
05 textual collages

 

150312 free brainstorming (21 minutes)

06 altered saxophone
07 vocal practice
08 intuition
09 images as scores
10 videos as scores
11 imagined spaces
12 randomness
13 harsh high-pitched sound

 

150313, brainstorming for ideas related to 12 Keyboard Pieces, Op. 10, by Johann Franz Xaver Sterkel (29 minutes)

14 music for a single amateur listener performer
15 amateurism in music

 

150314, brainstorming for electronic sounds (12 minutes)

16 extremely slowed-down audio files
17 field recordings
18 noise passing through a band-pass filter (with a relatively high cutoff) and some distortion
19 my MacBook Pro’s charger placed close to a radio

 

150316, brainstorming for ideas related to The Cliff Ruins of Canyon de Chelly, Arizona, by Cosmos Mindeleff (5 minutes)

20 the many diagrams in the article
21 how the circumstances shape the outcomes of creative activities
22 artistic research

 

150320, free brainstorming (23 minutes)

23 a loudspeaker as an instrument
24 microtonal keyboard instruments
25 building musical instruments from scratch
26 merging texts, images, and sounds
27 sounds in ongoing glissandi

 

150321, free brainstorming (6 minutes)

28 purposelessness
29 chains
30 a tone in the mid-low register

 

150325, brainstorming for sound-producing objects (28 minutes)

31 plastic boxes
32 paper reeds
33 vibrating rulers
34 rubber bands
35 strawberry tray
36 cardboard
37 ceramic jar

 

150326, brainstorming for ideas related to the islands Wallis and Futuna (5 minutes)

38 maps of the islands
39 the traditional culture of Wallis and Futuna

 

150329, brainstorming for sounds (7 minutes)

40 electric motors
41 noisy rustles
42 audio feedback
43 gurgling water
44 rubbing surfaces circularly

 
 

links and explanations

[01] a “slinky” is listed in 2sinNoiseLPFrLFO-sub-Ws as one of the objects to be placed on the large speaker cone of the self-made subwoofer that was used in Wechselstrom, and as an object “capable of producing noise sounds” in the collection of objects objects4JamesSaunders. (back)
[02] “structural divisions of an ensemble” are explored in 24d24iS_esO4bsPSpbVRssS2-EPB. (back)
[03] “a mute as a poetical idea: the struggle between an energy that wants to erupt and the thing that mutes it” is the origin of the expression “muted agitation” in iS1. (back)
[04] melodies. (back)
[05] “textual collages” is what often results from combining imaginary sounds. compare, for example, iS3, iS4v1, and iS3iS4v1. (back)
[06] “altered saxophone” is the origin of the saxoschlauch. (back)
[07] the collection of exercises exploring_the_voice depicts a “vocal practice”. (back)
[08] every decision in CompositionCloud is ultimately validated by intuition, as even when reasoning, the criteria for reasoning must be validated first by intuition (either consciously or unconsciously). in the collection of patterns intuitionVSrandomness, intuition was compared to randomness. (back)
[09] “images as scores” is the first explicit indication of my interest in graphic notation. (back)
[10] dynamic notation. (back)
[11] many of the texts of MUSIC FOR ONESELF v1 ask the reader to imagine both sounds and spaces. (back)
[12] randomness is used in CompositionCloud in a “Cagean” sense, that is, to remove traces of personal preferences. for example, i decided to derive the topics of some of these brainstorming sessions from random sources after realizing that ideas based on preferred sources will find their way into the free brainstorming sessions in any case. in addition, randomness was compared to intuition in the collection of patterns intuitionVSrandomness. (back)
[13] “harsh high-pitched sound” can be seen as a precedent for idea 18, “noise passing through a band-pass filter (with a relatively high cutoff) and some distortion”. (back)
[14] “music for a single amateur listener performer” is the first explicit indication of my interest in the notion of music for oneself. (back)
[16] the musical potentialities of slowed-down audio files were explored in feedbackMacBookPro14timesSlower, zH5pB_dZH5_processed, and pen1v1111-ann_GPVsR_dZH5_prcsd, and eventually led to the development of slow-15ANDbelow-tapeRecorderX4. (back)
[18] filteredNoise1 is an interpretation of “noise passing through a band-pass filter (with a relatively high cutoff) and some distortion”. (back)
[19] “my MacBook Pro’s charger placed close to a radio” is listed as an object “capable of producing pitched sounds” in the collection of objects objects4JamesSaunders. (back)
[20] “the many diagrams in the article” is another indication of my interest in graphic notation, particularly in diagrams. (back)
[21] in Introduction to CompositionCloud, the circumstances that led to the development of idea 06, “altered saxophone”, were described: “One may take a step backward and ask how idea 06, ‘altered saxophone’, was selected to be developed in the first place, or even how ideas are selected to be developed in CompositionCloud in general. There are two answers for that: first, by intuition […] and second, in accordance with the circumstances, which were, in the case of idea 06, ‘altered saxophone’, my participation in the summer course of the Tzlil Meudcan Festival 2015, for which I was asked to write a piece for Ensemble Nikel: Patrick Stadler (saxophone) and Brian Archinal (percussion). As we all lived at the time in Basel, Switzerland, and could meet several times before the first scheduled rehearsals to experiment with alternative instruments, it was reasonable to take advantage of this opportunity and develop this idea.” (back)
[23] “a loudspeaker as an instrument” is a precedent for the self-made subwoofer i designed. (back)
[25] “building musical instruments from scratch” is the first explicit indication of my interest in building musical instruments myself. (back)
[27] “sounds in ongoing glissandi” can be linked to the text PALE GLISSANDI (MUSIC FOR ONESELF v1), in which the reader is asked to imagine a tone whose pitch is constantly (and continuously) changing: “take the elevator or walk up the stairs to the second (top) floor. as you go, imagine a pale tone in the middle register coming from above you, continuously ascending or descending in pitch. whenever you hear a sound that grabs your attention, switch the direction in which the pitch of the tone is changing. click NEXT when you get to the second floor.” (back)
[28] in the interactive audiovisual installation d9-tgoc_aCVPsG, the artistic creative process is described as purposeless (also as circular and infinite). (back)
[31] plastic boxes are listed in 2sinNoiseLPFrLFO-sub-Ws as objects to be placed on the large speaker cone of the self-made subwoofer that was used in Wechselstrom. zH5pB_dZH5_processed is a processed improvisation on the plastic box in which my Zoom H5 was packed. different plastic boxes and packages were part of Daniel More’s playing setup in ccloudlab1 and ccloudlab1x2. (back)
[33] “vibrating rulers” refers to the sound of plucking ordinary plastic and metal rulers (like this). it led to the development of the collection of objects that i call vibrating_rulers. (back)
[34] rubber bands were part of Daniel More’s playing setup in ccloudlab1 and ccloudlab1x2. (back)
[35] a strawberry tray is listed as a “flat surface” in the collection objects4JamesSaunders and was part of Daniel More’s playing setup in ccloudlab1 and ccloudlab1x2. (back)
[36] cardboard is listed as a “flat surface” in the collection objects4JamesSaunders. (back)
[37] a ceramic jar was part of Daniel More’s playing setup in ccloudlab1 and ccloudlab1x2. (back)
[38] the influence of maps (although not necessarily of Wallis and Futuna) can be noticed in diagram8, which is also based on a randomly selected source, the painting Festa del Redentore by Maurice Prendergast. (back)
[40] sounds of electric motors can be produced by electric frothing wands and toothbrushes, incorporated into both vibrating_rulers and objects4JamesSaunders. furthermore, Daniel More’s playing setup in ccloudlab1 and ccloudlab1x2 focused almost exclusively on such sounds. (back)
[41] in 24d24iS_esO4bsPSpbVRssS2-EPB, the annotations added to iS3x2 define “/” and “\” as “noisy rustles”. (back)
[42] audio feedback is slowed down in feedbackMacBookPro14timesSlower and is referred to in exploring_the_voice. it also plays a central role in the interactive audiovisual installation d9-tgoc_aCVPsG. (back)
[43] the sound of “gurgling water” is produced by pouring water into the saxoschlauch in iS1iS2iS3_sxsch90a180a220-ADaVM. (back)

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