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Composition Analysis

Name
__________edward kelly______________________________________________

Course
__________Music Technology 1___Creative Computing_______________________

Description

This project was all about the idea of having piano keys wriggling under your fingers.
The idea of pressing but one note, and having other keys played by ghostly electronics.

The Yamaha Disklavier, when played through Plogue Bidule, became a remote controlled melodic
device. It was necessary to work in a world of semitones as the Disklavier can only play of one of the
88 equal-tempered keys, I worked within the simplistic realm of harmony that I enjoy.

Upon my initial interactions with the Disklavier, I discovered it had a penchant for holding keys. If
one were to hold a key unitl a delayed note was triggered - the key would stay down for a period of
time until it became released (about 30 seconds), this was also true of the sustain pedal - and a non
controllable sustain pedal made for a mash of sound. So the first device in the Plogue chain is a CC
filter.

I also discovered that the Disklavier would attempt to play notes of a low velocity, but it didn't quite
manage to actually hit the strings. This results in a spidery sort of clicking sound of the internal
mechanism moving .
I attempted to fix this with a velocity filter ;
I discovered that the existing velocity filter in Plogue, effectively filtered the note offs (being a note of
0 velocity). So I tried to create a filter myself, but discovered that when I put the information through a
Note Extractor and then recombined into a Note Creator, it created a delay (the pitch information was
an event behind the amplitude) so it always played the preceding note pitch. So I decided that the
spidery clicking was actually pleasant.

From the vantage point of a relaxed distance several other possibilities occur - such as velocity
remapping, and even routing through Ableton Live which may have a better filter (although this could
have added to the already noticeable latency).

The use of the Disklavier, also dictated the use of Studio 5 as the performance/recording space. It's not
the best sounding space in the world, and did add its own characteristic to the sound of the piano.

I didn't acheive as much as I would like to have, Plogue has a very steep learning curve with
mild steps on the way. I thought I could do stuff that when I tried just proved too difficult (eg
having Plogue determine the space between two played notes in the midst of a flurry).
But I did acheive many small acheivements such as modifying the Note to chord and Delay
bidules.
Programme Note

Plan B_excerpt:
Edward Kelly
7 ‘ 20

The Disklavier is a piano which can be connected to an electronic MIDI device and played remotely. The keys
are then triggered so as to perform mechanical actions, to play sounds in the similar manner as one would with
their fingers. This has the effect of the keys being moved up and down, as if by a ghostly presence.

This composition is based on the idea of physical feedback through the medium of the Disklavier piano. The idea
of playing a piano and having it being played simultaneously, but remotely. Having the keys moving under your
fingers, perhaps even playing the note you anticipated playing yourself.

By using the progam Plogue Bidule, I have created a number of effects which are triggered by the playing of
notes on the piano. The keyboard is divided into 4 zones, each of which create different effects.

The top zone has a repeating delay - any note played will then repeat until it fades away (like an echo).

The next two zones feature a delay and note shifting - each delayed note is only played once more and are shifted
by a pre-determined amount to create an arpeggiated chord.

The bottom zone is routed through the delay on the top zone.

The composition has no defined shape other than the midi effects, which will through their actions, define tempo
and harmonic content and guide the performers through their improvisations.

This piece is semi-inspired by the composer Simeon Ten Holt and his work for three pianos, Lemniscaat. Using a
minimal score, and shaping the performers performance, creating a guided space within infinitude.

Many thanks to Chris Larkin who plays the Disklavier during this performance.

Edward Kelly does some real time manipulation of the midi effects in Plogue Bidule and some sequencing of pre-
recorded piano voicings/manipulations in Ableton Live.
Project Plan

Name
______edward__kelly________________________________________________

Course
______music_technology_1_pt._2.____creative_computing___________________________________________
_

Decription

PLAN B:

my composition will feature the disklavier which will be connected via MIDI to Plogue Bidule, thereby
sending information and receiving information.

I will have a basic score which the performer (Chris Larkin) will improvise around.
and giving Plogue Bidule a basic sequence which it will play simultaneously.

Plogue Bidule will then create new performance information based on the two note streams.

for example; if plogue were to play a C, and the performer a G
- then Plogue could then generate an E to create a chord, or playing a run between the two notes played, or
calculating the fifth harmonic of the middle note between the two and playing a sine wave of that frequency,
or calculating the interval between the two notes and create a run that will continue to the end of the
keyboard.

So I will create a selection of bidules which I will select between and manipulate during performance.

This idea would not be limited to the synclavier, any instrument with a MIDI output would be easily
swappable. Italso could be modified to suit any accoustic instrument with real time FFT analysis of it's
output.

However, the disklavier offers feedback in the physical realm with the movement of the keys.This
importantly would affect the performers improvisation to have the keys moving under their fingers..
Research

Name
_____edward_kelly__________________________________________________

Course
_______music_technology_1_pt._2.___creative_computing_________________

Understanding

Electro-Acoustic Music - any music which contains electronic elements [1]

Tape Music - general term sometimes applied to electro-acoustic music because early EAM was on
magnetic tape. More recent terms which have begun to replace “Tape:” computer music, computer-
generated sounds, electronic sound, computer-altered tape, etc. [1]

Instrument and Tape Music - music written for acoustic instrumental forces (solo instrument up to large
ensembles like orchestra) and electronic sounds, usually played on magnetic tape (see "Tape Music"). [1]

The understanding of electroacoustic is like having an understanding of painting.

That said, I intend to understand the term as music with acoustic sounds manipulated in the electronic realm,
with particular emphasis on real time manipulation.
For example, many years ago I played electric guitar. I played real time through at least 10 different effects
pedals/units with little reference to the strings, each unit added its own unique timbral variation, half the fun
was setting them up in different orders. This was electro-accoustic.

[1] Electro-Acoustic Music. http://music.utsa.edu/comp/EAMOverview.htm. viewed 26 September
2007.

www.seamusonline.org/conf_2007/eigenfeldt.pdf

www.seamusonline.org/conf_2007/wetzel.pdf

Examples

City Frequencies is a partnership between two Melbourne artists (Nick Wilson and Matt Adair) that
explores the urban environment as a source of music and sound.
http://www.akm.net.au/cityfreqs/blog/?page_id=47

The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) is a non-profit national
organization of composers, performers, and teachers of electro-acoustic music...

http://www.seamusonline.org/