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WCM: Wind Chime Marimba

The aim of this work was to develop an infinite 'composition-engine' small enough in file size to be viable for use on the Internet of today, one that would produce evolving musical material based upon collisions between visually represented objects. Once the file has been fully downloaded, an infinite composition begins, and no further interaction by the user is necessary. Musical output is determined by the following rules :-

i. Notes (samples) are triggered when any Note-Object collides with the larger Trigger-Object, there are twelve Note-Objects representing the pitches from one chromatic octave.

ii. Dynamic stereo position and loudness are derived from the respective X and Y coordinates of each collision. Therefore a collision occurring in the lower-right corner of the screen would result in a pianissimo sample heard in the right speaker only.

iii. When a collision occurs within the Roll-Area, represented by a moving blue square, a roll articulation is activated, rather than a single hit.

iv. The Repeat-Object is toggled upon contact with the Trigger-Object and creates the effect of an echo.

v. Objects Accel. and Rit.?, alter the velocity of the Trigger-Object upon contact and can dramatically affect the density of the music.

I believe that there are many possible applications and future directions for this work. For example, the rules outlined above could be extended or further timbres could be introduced to create much more varied and less aleatoric results. It would also be a simple step to dispense with the visual content altogether yet still employ the engine as a generator for ever changing background music for a website. However, personally I quite like the idea of allowing people to view the mechanics at work, perhaps it gives extra purpose to the music when one can predict what is likely to happen by visually tracking the Trigger-Object?

collection:2003 | date added:2003-05-09 | enter project
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Clara: Internet Instrument

This project is a virtual instrument based upon the Theremin (an early electronic instrument developed by Leon Theremin in 1917). Named after Clara Rockmore, (Theremin virtuoso), this instrument has again been designed for fast Internet delivery and can be played using mouse movements alone. Similar to the original instrument, pitch is controlled by moving the (on-screen) right hand along the x-axis and loudness is controlled by moving the left along the y-axis. Unlike the original instrument which had an approximate four octave compass, this instrument has a reduced three octave range but allows for recording and playback of the hand movements.

There is a small paragraph of text on the page alongside the instrument which can be read whilst experimenting with the instrument. Although in this case the information provided is hardly exhaustive, it at least shows the potential of projects such as this to be employed as hands on educational resources.
collection:2003 | date added:2003-05-09 | enter project
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Vds: Virtual Drum Skin

The aim of this work was to develop a fun environment to explore rhythmic patterns. The resulting work allows for a succession of ?grains? to be dropped upon virtual drums of different tunings. The user has direct control over the following parameters which can affect the output (along with several randomizers, that I have termed ?stability?) :-

i. Initial grain and drum position. ii. Number of grains and drum size. iii. Initial upward velocity. iv. Gravity. v. Drum skin tension. vi. Grain release angle.

I view this work as a combination of the two aforementioned experiments as here the user can interact with the environment, exploring the effect upon the musical output.
collection:2003 | date added:2003-05-09 | enter project
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Fpp: Flash Player Piano

This work is very similar to WCM (above), however in this experiment a three dimensional representation has been attempted (acknowledgment - adapted 3D code by Pavel Kaluzhny, ?Flash Math Creativity? - ISBN 1-903450-50-0). An infinite aleatoric music composition for the Internet again employing a computer based composition-engine. Each of the inner sides of the cube represents the different pitches from a six note piano chord. Piano samples (or occasional random bass samples) are triggered by the moving spheres which are contained within the 3D space. A leading sample is played and the chord alternates if a sphere collides with another sphere. Amplitude and pan are derived from the X and Y position of a collision. The arrow buttons in the top right corner rotate the cube, whilst continuing to generate the composition in real time. The introduction of the third dimension (z) would allow for dynamic control of another audible property in addition to pan and volume, however this has not been implemented in this work at this time.
collection:2003 | date added:2003-05-09 | enter project
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Pattern Chain: Internet Instrument

A playable and fun instrument which generates musical patterns based upon the physical movements of a chain of objects which together simulate the properties of either spring or elastic. The user can initiate a pattern by dragging and releasing the on screen ?beaters? which are free to perpetually oscillate over the keys of a virtual xylophone. The user has direct control over the following parameters which can affect the output :-

i. Material ? spring or elastic. ii. Lock / unlock the X-axis movement. iii. Up/down stroke or down only sample triggering. iv. Tension (friction). v. Number of beaters (1 to 12).

The instrument has a 3 octave compass and the resulting patterns can be notated in real time.
collection:2003 | date added:2003-05-09 | enter project

robert wright : about

Rob Wright MSc. BEd.
Rob Wright is a lecturer, composer and music technologist based in the UK.
In 1997 he gained a Masters degree with distinction studying composition with Javier Alvarez. Specializing in electro acoustic music for instrument and tape, his compositional output has gained artistic awards at international competitions and receives regular performance. Most recently, ?Arco? a work for ?cello and tape was awarded a mention and prize at the 28th Concours International de Musique Electroacoustic et Art Sonore, (Bourges 2001), ?Wires? piano and tape received performance at The Barbican Center as part of the spnm Stockhausen Electronique Programme, (London, Oct 2001 ) and 'Vendetta Kinda' Mood' guitar and tape has been selected by spnm (society for the promotion of new music) for their 2002 short list