Design & Artwork by Susanna R. Var ©2013-2014
Conceptual art can be an eager vessel for the "immediate." When I set out to write this collection of works, I started with the idea of making the pieces each no longer than five seconds. I began to consider what a musical engagement in this small space could mean and what sorts of directions my compositional style would be lead.
Consider the microchip; it works in much the same way as a collection of electrical components that are soldered together do (capacitors, resistors, transistors, etc.) except that it compacts all of those component functions into a singular, smaller unit; essentially a reduction of larger, more unyieldingly-complex schematics. Much in the same way as a microchip, I consider these compositions complete works by themselves, just smaller. Our adaptive facilities allow us to make great leaps in perceptual magnitudes. I've tried to reduce the footprint, not the content.
GRE is a piece that involves a computer-administered "test" in the form of a series of short rhythmic exercises that the percussionist plays. After playing each exercise, the computer "grades" the performer on her ability to play the example correctly and then creates a new piece of music for her to play. The project involves many aspects of complex creative and technical aspects, including the development of many compositional and analysis algorithms, including one that can track rhythm in variable tempo as well as much custom software development that integrates many well-known open-source projects in a single cross-platform application.
In this course, students will examine the role of music and sound design in interactive media (i.e. video games) by surveying the historical, technical, cultural and aesthetic concerns of game audio and music. Throughout the quarter, students will hear presentations from several industry composers, sound designers and programmers.
In this quarter, we will cover music and cultural topics of the past and present from, around and concerning various regions of Asia, including China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, India, Tibet, and Mongolia. We will discuss in-depth how these musics work (both structurally and culturally), as well as how they relate to larger global contexts. Students will be tested primarily on their critical listening and analysis skills and will be expected to produce a scholarly research paper in a Asian musical topic of their choice. (See "Paper" under "Assignments" below for more details on paper requirement). All required listenings will be posted online, attached to this syllabus. Please note that lecture materials such as lecture notes, powerpoint slides, etc. will NOT be posted online.
In this quarter, we will cover music of the past and present from, around and concerning Japan. We will discuss in-depth how these musics work (both structurally and culturally), as well as how they relate to larger global contexts. Students will be tested primarily on their critical listening and analysis skills and will be expected to assemble a project that reflects their research (Replaces the final exam requirement).
Ruratae uses a unique physics-based audio engine that simulates the sonic vibrations of musical instruments. This engine is a result of Drew's PhD dissertation research (in computer music). This game is our way of sharing that research with other people in a meaningful and still educational way. It is a physics sandbox that allows users to create things and hear what they sound like when they are struck, plucked, shook and torn apart. A huge update is planned in the next few months, so stay tuned.
Abstract: In this thesis, I will demonstrate the capabilities of Ruratae, a physics-based audio rendering engine that models and sonifies mechanical vibrations of Newtonian bodies. This new system will allow its users a range of possibilities and subtle controls without requiring expert knowledge of signal theory and acoustics. It will be an environment that allows users to produce dynamic, reconfigurable, and interactive sounds through physically-intuitive construction and playing behaviors. I will discuss at detail known problems and issues that arise when attempting to afford these abilities, and I will offer several solutions and strategies that can be employed to tackle and reduce these upsets.