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Composing & Performing Interactive Music October 18-23, 2004 Faculty of Music McGill University Bruce Pennycook, DMA Dept. of Composition, School of Music Dept. of Radio Television Film, College of Communication University of Texas at Austin Introduction Schedule & Topics

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composing performing interactive music

Composing & PerformingInteractive Music

October 18-23, 2004

Faculty of Music

McGill University

Bruce Pennycook, DMA

Dept. of Composition, School of Music

Dept. of Radio Television Film, College of Communication

University of Texas at Austin

introduction
Introduction

pennycook/mcgill

schedule topics
Schedule & Topics

Monday 3-6 Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music

Tuesday 9-12 Impact of interactive music on performance practice and

on compositional methods

Wed 9-12 Systems Design (composer/performer perspective)

Thur 9-12 New directions and possibilities

Friday 9-12 Music and Audio Visualization - interactive, real-time video-music

pennycook/mcgill

objectives of the seminars
Objectives of the Seminars
  • Present an overview of the history of interactive composition and performance
  • Provide in depth resources and materials for graduate level study and research
  • Propose new areas of creativity and research from emerging aesthetics, styles and technologies including visualization systems

pennycook/mcgill

seminar format
Seminar Format
  • Presentations by B. Pennycook
  • Examples and demonstrations
  • Daily contributions by students
  • Short paper (due October 31, 2004)

pennycook/mcgill

resources
Resources
  • Read - Rowe, Winkler
  • CMJ articles
  • Recordings
  • Max, Max/MSP; SuperCollider 2, 3

pennycook/mcgill

seminar 1 principals and aesthetics of interactive music
Seminar #1Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music

(who will turn the knobs when I die)

Monday, October 18, 2004

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Room LSR#3

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • What is “interactivity” ? (he says/she says)
  • Are there pre-computer examples ?
  • What about “live electronic music” ?
  • Why are these early pieces different from our current thinking on this topic? That is, what role does the computer play in this?
  • What separates computational control from machine control?

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music9
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • What is the essential attraction of interactive music? Why do composers (and for that matter, performers) want to create/play it?
  • How has the software community influenced music making and vice-versa?
  • What connection exists (or should exist) with other forms of interactive art?

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music10
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • Tape + instruments/voices
    • Instrumental karaoke (music minus “n”)
    • Free the player from the tyranny of the clock (tape, cd)
    • Like asking an actor to perform to video or film
    • Eliminates the normal elasticity of gestures especially on the large scale (local elasticity is possible - like Chopin LH/RH); rubato has to be “built in” to the score
    • No error tolerance - clock keeps ticking no matter what

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music11
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • BUT - (Music - “n”) works!
    • Many very important pieces (Berio, Davidovsky, Risset, Lanza, Morrill, Parmagiani, ) that remain performed
    • Low-stress rehearsal environment
    • Easily replicated performance after performance
    • Players can memorize aural events very precisely
    • Players can emulate “interaction” convincingly
    • Sonic domain can be managed easily
    • Low gear, setup, help environment

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music12
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • Principals of interactive music
    • Establish a dialogue between man and machine
    • Permit modes and levels of adaptation
    • Seek new performance results - from slightly interpretive to full improvisation
    • Seek new or at least dynamic compositional results
    • Explore relationship between man and machine to some degree
    • Explore machine autonomy to some extent

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music13
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • Temporal Control
    • What are the key “interpretive issues”?
    • What degree of flexibility is required?
    • What are the macro/micro level of temporal controls that would have direct and audible impact on the listener?
    • Why not just fake it?
    • How can this be managed with minimal impact on the player or ensemble?

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music14
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • Computer assisted composition.
    • Grab/alter/play metaphor is very seductive given the inherent compositional cohesion that ensues. But despite some clever efforts (Risset,Rowe, Pennycook, Pinkston, Hamel, Chafe, others) - these have not been embraced into the “repertoire”)
    • Is this a MIDI thing? Is MIDI dead?
    • If yes, why? What problems exist with this method of work that prohibits it from finding a solid niche in the overall ea or chamber music genre?

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music15
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • Guided Improvisation
    • http://smc04.ircam.fr/ProgWorkshop.html
    • Workshop on computer improvisation, Oct 20 IRCAM
    • What is “guided improvisation”
    • In what sense does a player actually “improvise”
    • In what sense can a computer “improvise”
    • One-way, two-way, n-way improvisation
    • Stylistic norms and boundaries help manage conditional environment

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music16
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • Guided Improvisation
    • Essential criterion for improvisation is the ability to “listen”
    • Application of analytic/generative processes to the incoming musical information
    • Segmentation, feature extraction and pattern matching
    • Modular compositional automaton
    • Other factors such as parallel process management, multi-computer audio, midi and data interfaces

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music17
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • Audio Processing Compositions
    • Modes of operation
      • “outboard rack” approach
      • New audio from previous audio (lag issues)
      • Stored files
      • Stored audio altered on the fly as per incoming data
      • Real-time pitch tracking, segmenting, pattern matching (huge topic to be returned to later in the week)
      • Computational demands much higher than MIDI hence must be worth it

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music18
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • General Properties - Summary
    • Modes of performance
      • Active - triggers, footswitch, etc.; initiated by operator and/or performer(s)
      • Passive - system detects appropriate flags from processes such as beat detection, pitch detection, silence/pause detection, motion capture, time-code (clock) etc.
    • Granularity
      • Section, event, note, clock time,
      • Governed by compositional style and process compexity

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music19
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • General Properties - Summary
    • Input and Sources
      • MIDI - seems passé now but why?
      • Audio - transducer properties, analytical, processing and generative algorithms
      • Motion/Image - use of gesture may be critical to effective interaction; secondary channel?
    • Output
      • MIDI? - this is really dead
      • Audio - channels, mixing, loudspeaker management
      • Video/Image - supporting

pennycook/mcgill

principals and aesthetics of interactive music20
Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music
  • General Properties - Summary
    • Longevity (who will turn the knobs)
      • Very few pieces are playable without the composer or trained operator present
      • Players largely disenfranchised due to tech-gap
      • No obvious solution to hardware/software obsolescence
      • Many components defy notation or even adequate description
      • Teachers will never (?) undertake this repertoire thus the cycle of master-apprentice is essentially broken beyond repair
      • Many acoustic composers consider this little more than gear-tinkering
      • No systematic reviewing process
      • Vast arena of techno-pop has totally overshadowed the genre

pennycook/mcgill

seminar 1 principals and aesthetics of interactive music21
Seminar #1Principals and Aesthetics of Interactive Music

END

Monday, October 18, 2004

3:00 pm - 6:00 pm

pennycook/mcgill

seminar 2 composition and performance of interactive music
Seminar #2Composition and Performance of Interactive Music

(the chamber music tradition)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Room LSR #1

pennycook/mcgill

interactive compositions
Interactive Compositions
  • Early adoptors (MIDI):
    • Roger Dannenburg, Chris Chafe, Joel Chadabe, Dexter Morrill, Keith Hamel, Russell Pinkston, Jean-Claude Risset, Morton Subotnick….
  • Early adopters (Audio/DSP)
    • Cort Lippe, Zack Settel, Tod Machover, Russell Pinkston, ….
  • Reference - Joel Chadabe “….”

pennycook/mcgill

interactive compositions24
Interactive Compositions
  • Pennycook “PRAESCIO series”
  • First public performance - Buffalo, April 1987 - Praescio I

pennycook/mcgill

praescio i
Praescio - I
  • Soprano saxophone
  • Original version constructed with Dannenburg software “cmidi” (?) on PC-AT/286.
  • Setup included:
    • PC/at with MIDI IN, IVL Pitchrider
    • Sax data processed with delays, harmonizations, etc.
    • PC/at with midi version of score-11 developed by BP and CS grads at Queen’s University, called M-SCORE
    • Files were “hand triggered” on a section-by-section basis
    • Extreme underflow occurred during performance causing bursts and cascades

pennycook/mcgill

slide26

Selected Compositions

Praescio-I

Rec. 1991, McGill

pennycook/mcgill

praescio i27
Praescio - I
  • Versions II, III
  • Reconstructed using MIDI-LIVE software developed at McGill (Pennycook, Fujinaga, Hillborn, Quesnel)
  • Current version - Max
  • (more on this tomorrow)

pennycook/mcgill

slide28

Tornado (McGill EMS)

Praescio-II: amnesia

pennycook/mcgill

praescio ii amnesia
Praescio - II: amnesia
  • Commissioned by Geoffrey Wright for 25th anniversary of Peabody Conservatory EMS
  • With Morton Subotnick “Jacob’s Room”
  • Instrumentation, System
    • Soprano, flute, vln, vcello, dx7, system
    • First version of MIDI-LIVE software (Low-latency MIDI composition system for real-time performance)
    • Soprano and flute were close mic’d and provided pitch data to software via 2 IVL Pitchriders
    • Stored sequences were triggered (by operator)
    • MIDI Channel management was the crucial component

pennycook/mcgill

midi live 0 8
MIDI-LIVE 0.8
  • Designed to permit fluent interchange of live data with stored data
  • Premise was that MIDI files could be played like “pieces of tape”
  • Transformations included:
    • Assign out channel(s)
    • Assign tempo, velocity (volume) on a per-track basis
    • Specifiy harmonization, transposition
    • Gather inmcoming note-ons, strip temporal info, resend in various ways
  • Any number of tracks could be active at a time all under their own local metronome
  • Scripting language + playback interface for live performance that showed channel activity
  • Read/process standard midi files produced from sequencer, M-SCORE (score11/midi) OR recorded and stored internally

pennycook/mcgill

slide31

PRAESCIO-III

The desert speaks

Vivien Spiteri,

Harpsichord

1989

pennycook/mcgill

praescio iii the desert speaks
Praescio-III: the desert speaks
  • MIDI-LIVE 1.0 - program, much more stable, more processing capabilities, better user interface for scripting
  • Praescio-III: harpsichord and midilive
  • Challenge as the harpsichord - first interface was developed with Eric Johnstone at McGill using “organ retrofit” midi package with a complete set of switches for upper manual
  • Small control unit attached to harpsichord to permit the player to reset, advance, etc. and manage fswitch and vol pedal (critical for the performance)

pennycook/mcgill

praescio iii the desert speaks33
Praescio-III: the desert speaks
  • Version 2 of the interface was built for concert in Europe - original interface stolen out of a van (very high $ return for sure!)
  • New version entirely optical - individual LED/Receptor pairs per note on upper manual
  • Worked OK but susceptible to sudden lighting changes!
  • Never truly debugged, hard to regulate (but better than the mechanical one)

pennycook/mcgill

praescio iii the desert speaks34
Praescio-III: the desert speaks
  • 3 movement format
    • I - colorize
    • II - record/strip/process/play
    • III - triggered sequences, colorize

pennycook/mcgill

slide35

PRAESCIO-IV

Jean-Guy Boisvert,

Clarinet

1991

pennycook/mcgill

praescio iv
Praescio-IV
  • Commission for the 1991 International Clarinet Conference by Jean-Guy Boisvert
  • Challenge was to provide clarinetist with maximum freedom of control over temporal components
  • Non-improvisatory
  • Cheap MIDI tone generators to facilitate travel (but that may have been a bad idea)

pennycook/mcgill

praescio iv37
Praescio-IV
  • Unique “harness” for the clarinet designed and built by BP and Eric Johnstone
  • Provided attachment (DIN) for:
    • Contact mic on reed to improve IVL tracking
    • 3 ultra-light keys placed by LH thumb and RH little-finger to permit cross-fingered sustain and trigger
    • Volume pedal on floor was unavoidable then, perhaps with gesture tracking this too could be eliminated
    • Images in CMJ
  • Performed successfully by many different players - learning curve very short using the device and score cues

pennycook/mcgill

praescio v
Praescio-V
  • Praescio-V - a kind of “joint performance piece” for Dexter Morrill and myself
  • 1990 “MIDI-LIVE” road tour in Europe/Eastern Europe
  • Trumpet, sax and small rack of midi tone generators + Yamaha DMP-11 midi controlled mixer for processing audio (software controlled)
  • No longer extant but lots of fun to play.
  • Note that Dexter Morrill made numerous compositions using MIDI-LIVE and even shipped a system around to performers. A version was made for the Yamaha laptop that supported MIDI (not the CX5).

pennycook/mcgill

praescio vi
Praescio-VI
  • Praescio-VI commissioned by Christine Little, Toronto flautist
  • Several performances by different players - Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, ICMC-San Jose, Mexico City…
  • Fairly stable; short learning curve
  • 4 innovations for this piece
    • Max version of MIDI LIVE under development
    • MIDI Time Clip (remote signaling device to be described tomorrow)
    • Use of audio-on-CD as part of the controlled environment, “more than MIDI” output
    • Digidesign Sample-Cell hence entirely internal to the Mac
    • But, some serious level issues, hard to control in real-time

pennycook/mcgill

slide40

Praescio-VII

(piano and them some..)

alcides lanza, piano

pennycook/mcgill

praescio vii
Praescio-VII
  • Praescio-VII (piano and then some…) commissioned by ACREQ for alcides lanza to perform
  • many performances by different players plus tours in Europe, South America by lanza
  • MIDI Time Clip crucial for both the conception of the piece and the performance - very difficult to perform without feedback from computer->player

pennycook/mcgill

praescio vii42
Praescio-VII
  • Most complex of the Praescio series
  • Midi data generated from Common Music/LISP programs written by BP --> SMF’s
  • Full max implementation of MIDI-LIVE 2.x (Stammen)
  • Several specialized Max objects written by Dale Stammen
  • MIDI in from triggers (no piano data)
  • Feedback to player with MIDI Time Clip, complete Time Clip software package (Pennycook/Stammen)

pennycook/mcgill

praescio vii43
Praescio-VII
  • Large array of “piano tone modules” for midi out
  • Dual CD under complex Max control to permit overlap
  • 8 audio outs and 8 loudspeakers with real-time placement using MIDI-controlled MIXER (simple unity gain device - no EQ)
  • Full integration of prerecorded audio tracks and prepared MIDI sequences
  • Temporal management of triggers only - no improvisation
  • More than 60 events

pennycook/mcgill

other mixed pieces
Other mixed pieces
  • The Black Page Tropes (1995)
    • Drums, percussion, midi out + audio
    • One section of triggered improvisation using loops derived from Pyhrite external in Max
    • Long complex work primarily for the players - audio/MIDI more supportive and commentary
  • The Yonge Street Variations (1998)
    • Cello, MIDI (drum head), audio, DSP
    • Less notes, more processing and sound
    • Much greater reliance on stored audio files triggered by player
    • Based on very early work for viola and percussion (recorded)

pennycook/mcgill

summary
Summary
  • Much was learned from the development of all these works
  • End of the MIDI era (almost)
  • 8 audio outs and 8 loudspeakers with real-time placement using MIDI-controlled MIXER (simple unity gain device - no EQ)
  • Full integration of prerecorded audio tracks and prepared MIDI sequences
  • Temporal management of triggers only - no improvisation
  • More than 60 events

pennycook/mcgill

seminar 3 interactive system design
Seminar #3Interactive System Design

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Room 806

pennycook/mcgill

design issues
Design issues
  • What is the definition of Tod Machover’s interactive solo cello piece for Yo-Yo Ma, Begin again and again

pennycook/mcgill

design issues48
Design issues
  • 1 cellist, 6 technicians + 2 18-wheeler’s

(1991 view)

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brief history
Risset - Duet for one piano

Jaffe/Schloss - Wildlife

Wessel - phrase recorder

Lippe - Music for Clarinet and ISPW

Dannenberg - CMU Midi Toolkit

Rowe - Cypher

Pennycook - MidiLive/Max, T-MAX, Listener Project (with Hillborn, Stammen, Quesnel…)

Brief History

pennycook/mcgill

looking backwards
Looking backwards
  • Development of interactive, live-perf systems
  • Max Software (version 2) 1990/91
  • This program was written for 68k Mac.
  • PlaySMF (Dale Stammen - superb Midilive implementation for MAX)
  • Led to more ambitious implementations especially T-MAX, a version of Rowe’s Cypher running across a Mac IIfx and 4 Inmos T805 Transputers
  • Listener project - Stammen/Pennycook (see Rowe)

pennycook/mcgill

midi live max
MIDI-LIVE -Max
  • Max Software (version 2) 1990/91
  • This program was written for 68k Mac.
  • PlaySMF (Dale Stammen - superb Midilive implementation for MAX)
  • allnotesoff (Dale Stammen), case (Dale Stammen)
  • (more on this tomorrow)

pennycook/mcgill

looking back
Looking back
  • Demo of playSMF
  • Pre audio example
    • Black Page Tropes
    • Max - MIDI (playSMF) + audio cd’s
    • Event list driven, operator required (me).
    • Drums, perc, system
    • Interactive drum solo (Pyhrite code in Max)

pennycook/mcgill

design criteria today
Design Criteria Today
  • Compositional Strategy
    • Improvisatory?
    • Accompanying?(as in my stuff for the most part)
    • Sound Art?
    • Solo? Multiplayer?
    • Multiple media types (visuals, video, dance, lighting…)

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design criteria today54
Design Criteria Today
  • Technical Strategy
    • Small, portable? (G5 makes this almost a non-issue)
    • Audio Only? Controller functions?

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audio pieces
Audio Pieces
  • Panmure Vistas
    • SC2, “state” driven + knobs
    • Requires operator for truly fluent presentation
    • Solo violin + sc2

opening

midpoint

ending

pennycook/mcgill

audio pieces57
Audio Pieces
  • Club Life (2003)
    • SC2, “state” driven + knobs, much more complex software
    • Requires operator for truly fluent presentation
    • 2 saxes, piano, system
    • Not really “interactive”, just live

pennycook/mcgill

audio pieces59
Audio Pieces
  • Fast Dance (2004/05)
    • Clarinet and Max/MSP (in progress)
    • Commission from Jean-Guy Boisvert
    • Interactive audio only, no MIDI
    • Surround audio, 2-5 mics on stage (clarinetist moves around somehow)
    • Want to avoid the “grab and hack” metaphor and “rack-in-a-box”
    • Several highly intensity/rhythmic audio processes initiated by player position on stage, pitch (maybe), input volume (for sure)
    • Stored audio clips processed under algorithmic control

pennycook/mcgill

summary60
Summary
  • Audio is different but not necessarily better than MIDI as a compositional tool; many clichés to avoid
  • Multichannel audio leads to positional information as “data channel”
  • If G5 dependent, I will still need someone to turn the knobs when I die!

pennycook/mcgill

guest performers
Guest Performers
  • alcides lanza (Praescio VII - piano and then some)
    • Director of the McGill EMS
    • Composer and performer of electroacoustic works
  • Jean-Guy Boisvert (Praescio IV)
    • Specialist in new music for clarinet
    • Extensive touring experience with midi and audio systems

pennycook/mcgill

guest performers62
Guest Performers

30 minute “round table” on performance issues

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seminar 4 new directions emerging technologies
Seminar #4New Directions, Emerging Technologies

Thursday, October 21, 2004

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

LSR #2

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seminar 4
Seminar #4
  • 0900-1045 Emerging Technologies
  • 1100-1200 Performer Interview

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seminar 465
0900-1045

Emerging Technologies

1100-1200

Performer Interviews

alcides lanza, piano

Jean-Guy Boisvert, clarinet

Discussion of perforrmance practice of interactive music (Praescio IV, VII)

Seminar #4

pennycook/mcgill

emerging technologies
Emerging Technologies
  • What would a unified interactive performance/composition system look like?
  • What do we (creators) want to do?
  • What are the aesthetic objectives?

pennycook/mcgill

emerging technologies67
Emerging Technologies
  • Single voice pitch tracking combined with beat/rhythm tracking can produce stable and reliable real-time data input.

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emerging technologies68
Emerging Technologies
  • Real-time feature detection can segment and identify macro-structures can be implemented

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emerging technologies69
Emerging Technologies
  • Motion capture systems permit reasonable and stable gesture capture such that movements can be integrated into the overall “data input”

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emerging technologies70
Emerging Technologies
  • Tracking of multiple audio sources can be enhanced with various types of source separation then subjected to other processes

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emerging technologies71
Emerging Technologies
  • Technologies to control in real-time a wide variety of devices - lighting, stage mechanicals, video, audio diffusion - can be driven from a variety of computer-mediated inputs (audio, motion capture, other data sources…)

pennycook/mcgill

emerging technologies72
Emerging Technologies
  • Through more elaborate, dynamic data-mapping processes, musical input (audio, MIDI, motion) can be translated into complex visualizations.
  • Note that visualizations and “show-control” systems are merging under a few clean standards. Large scale display systems called digital light projection (DLP) that are bright enough for 500 seat theaters open up huge possibilities for visualization. (more on this tomorrow).

pennycook/mcgill

emerging technologies73
Emerging Technologies
  • Gaming and audience participation technologies begin to impact presentation spaces.
  • Perhaps not relevant in the aesthetics of the academy or Fine Arts schools, audience expectations are shifting.

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emerging technologies74
Emerging Technologies
  • Theatrical spectacle now the norm for major shows
  • Seen DVD - Nine Inch Nails (2003)

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emerging technologies75
Emerging Technologies
  • WHO IS THE AUDIENCE???
  • (break for 15”)

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seminar 476
1100-1200

Performer Interviews

alcides lanza, piano

Jean-Guy Boisvert, clarinet

Discussion of performance practice of interactive music (Praescio IV, VII)

Seminar #4

pennycook/mcgill

seminar 5 music audio visualization systems
Seminar #5Music & Audio Visualization Systems

Public Presentation

(90 minutes)

Friday, October 22, 2004

9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Room LSR #3

pennycook/mcgill