Michael commented on Val Muscat’s EDC lifestream – Computers start composing

Computers start composing.

Michael Wolfindale:

Fascinating article, Val!

I also came across an article about algorithms being involved in the composition/improvisation of music while I was reflecting on how ‘machines’ ‘think’, how ‘humans’ ‘think’, and the blurred boundaries between the two from a posthuman standpoint.

Talking of computers being able to ‘swing’, jazz pianist and programmer Dan Tepfer uses a special ‘player piano’ (a piano with an onboard computer that can ‘play’ itself). In practice, the piano is able to ‘listen’ to what Dan plays and ‘respond’ (e.g. play additional notes) through an algorithm Dan has written.

It’s interesting how Dan speaks out about the process (“I’m not writing a piece, I’m writing the way the piece works”), and how this article describes the piano as ‘his composing partner’ (rather than as a ‘tool’ he controls):

NPR – Fascinating Algorithm: Dan Tepfer’s Player Piano Is His Composing Partner