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Title Blue Skies: An Interactive Soundscape Composition
Publication Date
Degree DMA
Discipline/Department Music Theory and Composition (Music)
Degree Level open access
University/Publisher University of Miami
Abstract Blue Skies is a site-specific interactive soundscape composition that integrates live musicians and algorithmic improvisation into a sound installation that reacts to changing environmental conditions. The composition provides a template for multiple instances of the piece to be composed in the future for different sites. It includes an improvising software and hardware system called the Motivator that generates music based on parameters established as part of the composition, reacting in specified ways to changes in wind speed, light level, and other factors at the installation site. It also suggests a model for producing instructional, graphic scores that can be interpreted by live musicians as well as being translated into a format the computer system can understand. Included is a version of the composition composed specifically for presentation at the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables, using live musicians and field recordings made in and around the campus. An accompanying paper contains a discussion of the components of the piece and the composer’s intentions from several perspectives, including issues of interactivity between a musical composition and its performers, audience, and location; and issues of composition for spaces outside of traditional performance venues. The paper also presents brief considerations of work by several influential composers whose work is related to Blue Skies, including John Cage, Max Neuhaus, and John Luther Adams.
Subjects/Keywords soundscape composition; interactive composition; algorithmic composition; improvisation; acoustic ecology
Contributors Dennis Kam; Charles N. Mason; Lansing McLoskey; Colby Leider
Rights Unrestricted - open access
Country of Publication us
Record ID oai:scholarlyrepository.miami.edu:oa_dissertations-1784
Repository miami-diss
Date Retrieved
Date Indexed 2019-09-12
Created Date 2012-05-07 07:00:00

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…x28;sound producers) shape the soundscape with their sonic material, prompted by environmental conditions. ........................................ 2! Example 1.2. In Blue Skies, we’ve added musicians and algorithmic improvisers to our model of…

…soundscape generation. .................................................................. 3! Example 2.1. State machine from a simple Blue Skies composition designed for a demonstration lecture…

COMPOSITION In his book The Soundscape, R. Murray Schafer announces his intention “to treat the world as a macrocosmic musical composition.”1 The soundscape—the collection of sounds that is heard in a particular place—presents an interesting example of an…

…everevolving piece of music with no clear beginning or end, and no composer. Schafer’s statement suggests that it is the observer who designates a set of sounds to be a “composition,” thus obviating the need for a composer. In the case of the soundscape, an…

…including responding to environmental conditions. This gives us the overall compositional model shown in Example 1.2. Example 1.2. Blue Skies adds musicians and algorithmic improvisers to the previous model of soundscape generation. Performer Performer…

…Performer Existing "Performers" Environmental Conditions Performer Performer Performer Musicians Soundscape Performer Performer Performer Algorithmic Improvisers An important desired effect of this piece is to increase the participants…

…Press, 2009), 1. 5 this sort of composition, focusing on considerations of the performance space and the expansive possibilities for interactivity in the composition. Chapter 2 BLUE SKIES It is best to think of Blue Skies not as one composition

…Motivator computer program that improvises algorithmically; a score readable by this program that guides the algorithmic improvisation; various sensors that feed data about the environment into the computer program; sampled sounds used as sonic material by…