Water Installation

Generative composition – More tests and progress

In preperation for both my installation project, and the collaborative A/V performance with Anssi, I have been refining my methods for creating generative music, that keeps changing and evolving, without any action required from me to trigger any computations. The reason and inspiration to refine the systems has been extensive listening to the work of William Basinski and Tim Hecker. Their ability to produce a still, yet evolving sound world made me think of methods to use generative resampling into a granular sampler, that picks up one of the most prominent melodic sounds, and in combination with parameter randomisation, replays parts of that instuments in ocaves above and below the original line. The result is a very fluent, ever changing layer of melodic material that is strongly related to the melodic content recently heard, yet with a completely new sense of timbre and textural content.

I have also been researching addons to max that could help me create these generative systems. I have learnt a lot during the production of these projects, however my programming and maths knowledge is still far below many others out there. During this research I found an addition of abstractions specifically designed to help with the creation of generative systems within Max. A link to this pack can be found in the bottom of this post. The pack contains a wide range of established processes that have been used to produce musical content. 

So far I have implemented:


– The concept behind a Brownian note generator onto my parameter-randomisation module, which adds the possibilty of randomising a percentage within a set range. 

– A brownian note generator, with controls for max/min note height, note length, and randomisation amount all available to be controlled by other generative modules

– A note generator that is able to either randomly generate a set of intervals that will be played over and over, or a set single interval that is repeated. Also here a few controls are made available for other modules to control: note length, set single interval, randomise a set of intervals.

All these modules can be used in series (together with the ones written fully by me), in order to generate chords and progressions.

Examples using these modules will be in a future blog post.