Machine Musicians

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The Dazzled Project by David Dalmazzo turns the average generative-visualization project on its head—where audio is generated based on forms created through a particle system. This approach is not new, but it is still relatively rare.

From Dazzled’s project page:

Dazzled Project is based on the idea to compose a generative particle environment that could create at the same time structures and sounds. I would like to program patterns and physics simulations with the aim to compose music structures that has a direct representation on a formal shape.

Projects like these make me wonder how long off we are before whole mainstream musical pieces are generated through an algorithm rather than a fully human process. In such a case, there is no lack of creative potential, the creativity will just shift to the system of rules a machine uses to compose the musical piece. If this does catch on, I wonder how our relationship to music and musicians would change, if at all.
via CreativeApplications

4 thoughts on “Machine Musicians”

  1. It is interesting to see it generate the audio rather than have the audio generate (or at least influence) the art. But it’s still a long way from music in my opinion. Music is a lot more than audio/noise – at least good music…

    I know you weren’t claiming it to be a billboard hit at all, but music at least needs some rhythm and melody.

    1. Yeah, good point. However, I wonder how far off that could be. Musical composition has strong roots in a mathematics and patterns. It seems like that could lend itself quite nicely to algorithmic generation…


  2. Well, not only is it not far off… it’s been produced for decades now. The most popular artist off the top of my skull is Autechre on Warp Records, who are probably the most shining example of an artist that uses generative sequences in their compositions. They’re probably the most famous (and I mean that loosely, hehe) artists to use this technique. I highly recommend the album Draft 7.30 (the album). Oh yeah, and check out the Gantz Graf video from 2002:
    Check out the history of Max/MSP for more information.

  3. Oh, btw… when I say decades… I mean that things like Max/MSP have been around for 20 years and also that people like Brian Eno had pioneered the idea of “chance” music and he’s considered to be the forefather of generative compositions.

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