Research Colloquium

Research Colloquium: Collaboration and composing with new musical algorithms

On many occasions, musical works have introduced new sound tools. In some cases, e.g., Chowning and others, the composer and inventor are the same person. In many other examples, the process is a collaboration. This talk presents an ongoing collaboration between the composer (Kerry L. Hagan) and the programmer/mathematician (Miller Puckette) from the composer’s point of view. How does the composer understand the processes? How much does the composer need to understand? What are the advantages and disadvantages of (mis)understanding? How does the collaborative relationship work?

The discussion will analyze new algorithms, explore the aesthetic consequences of the algorithms, depict works utilising the algorithms, and ponder the implications of music as demonstration and/or art in the context of Hagan and Puckette’s collaboration. Anecdotal histories of z12 and Cubic Zirconia, coupled oscillators and s/d, and hollowed cubes and Hack Lumps will probe these questions and topics. Additionally, this presentation will introduce new algorithms and works in progress.

Kerry Hagan is a composer and researcher working in both acoustic and computer media. She develops real-time methods for spatialization and stochastic algorithms for musical practice. Her work endeavours to achieve aesthetic and philosophical aims while taking inspiration from mathematical and natural processes. In this way, each work combines art with science and technology from various domains. As a researcher, Hagan’s interests include real-time algorithmic methods for music composition and sound synthesis, spatialization techniques for 3D sounds and electronic/electroacoustic musicology. In 2010, Hagan led a group of practitioners to form the Irish Sound, Science and Technology Association, where she served as President until 2015. Currently, she is a Lecturer at the University of Limerick in the Digital Media and Arts Research Centre. She is the Principal Investigator for the Spatialization and Auditory Display Environment (SpADE).
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