I am delighted to be a recipient of the Francis Chagrin Award. I applied for this to help with the costs of developing Music Machine 37 for performance in the FabLab concert. I needed to get a Raspberry Pi 2 and some other bits and pieces so that all the players had identical equipment, so I was really please to get some help with that.
I also set up the
physical Music Machines 2 and 30 (both triggered by an ultrasonic
sensor) and Music Machine 35 (a RFID reader) in the library foyer and
at a couple of locations on the way to the FabLab so people activated
them as they walked past.
The concert went
well and without any major hitches although there was a moment of
panic when the mixing desk started making a horrendous noise about an
hour before the concert was due to start. Thanks to Ian Woodbridge
who sorted this but it did result in me having to use my Spirit Notepad which didn’t have enough inputs for us all so I had to swap
leads between pieces.
We each had a
Raspberry Pi 2 with USB sound cards for the audio (used in Music
Machine 4) and I designed a web browser interface that each player
viewed on their individual monitors.
This version of
Music Machine 1 was played on three midi wind controllers. The
web-page shows red or green, red for silence and green for play. When
a player blows through the controller the Raspberry Pi makes the rest
of the decisions; how many voices will sound, which sound each voice
will have, how loud each voice will be and where in the stereo field
the voice will sound. The piece was written to have more voices
sounding in the middle than at the beginning or the end.
This version of
Music Machine 4 was played on three keyboards (computer keyboards not
musical ones). The web-page shows the player which letter to press on
the keyboard. Each letter triggers a different sample. The piece is
designed so that the gap between the samples get shorter as the piece
This version of
Music Machine 28 was for violin, flute and Casio Digital Horn. The
web-page shows the players which note to play and for how long to
play it; each note is faded in and out.
Music Machine 29 is
for solo midi wind controller and was played using a Yamaha WX5. This was originally written for the Sonoroties Festival 2014.The
consists of two parts and works in the following way. The first part
plays a C major scale (both ascending and descending) and arpeggio.
The second part remembers each note that the first part plays and
stores them in a list. It will then choose a note from that list to
play back simultaneously with the first part. Occasionally the
programme will delete (forget) some notes from the list and then
start remembering again. There is also the chance that notes will be
sustained allowing chords to build up.
Machine 37 was a new piece written for this concert. It uses Bach's
Invention No.8 in F and is a violin and flute duet. The players'
screens display the score in full but then starts replacing bars with
randomly chosen ones until the music disappears.
Next week (Friday 10th July) will see a concert of Music Machines in FabLab Devon (Exeter Library). I think this is probably the first time a FabLab has hosted an event such as this, certainly the first for the Devon FabLab.
Really looking forward to it but I still have lots to prepare. There will be three performers, me, Julie Hill (violin) and Ruth Molins (flute), we will also be using Casio digital horns and a yamaha wx wind controller. These will be linked up to midi sound modules.
The Music Machines started life as entirely computer generated but recently I have created ones that involve live performance and I have adapted some of the earlier ones for live performance. The musicians are given instructions by the computer (in this case Raspberry Pis, these instructions will be different each time the piece is played.
Have a listen to Music Machines 4 & 34 (versions of which will be performed in this concert) here: