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The Future Composer
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In the science fiction story Outsider by An Owomoyela, we meet historic researcher “Mota” and the artificial intelligence “Io”, who live in a transhumanist society. Mota is met by an Earth ship with a single woman “Eva” who they struggle to understand, as Eva expresses her cyborg-phobic opinions, rejecting the genetic alterations of Mota’s people. Among others, the story raises questions of what constitutes a human, and where the threshold is set between human and non-human when a society evolves as a result of technological advancements.  

In this hands-on creative sound programming and speculative workshop, we looked at the use of algorithms in musical composition and how it has influenced digital music. Together we will speculate about the future of music composition; Can generative methods enhance our creativity or which implications might autonomous computer music have for future creativity? How do the digital tools we use affect the way we create music and which kind of music we make? We discussed the relationship between humans and algorithms in artistic creation and what forms of hybrid co-creation the future might bring. What will future music sound like? How will it be created and who will be the creators of it?  

Participants were introduced to the basic structure of creating sound in Max/MSP – a visual programming language for music and multimedia, which has been widely used by composers, performers, software designers, researchers, and artists to create interactive installations, generative music compositions and audiovisual performances. Along with a quick start tutorial of the digital platform, participants explored examples of algorithmic music composition and create their own interactions. These examples will highlight an alternative way of thinking in terms of sound creation, that is flexible, unpredictable and interchangeable. Through this hands-on workshop we will explore creativity in a co-creation process between artistic decision making and unpredictable feedback from generative methods. Can the autonomy of algorithms as a “co-composer” inspire new and unexpected perspectives in creating digital sound?  

This workshop is a part of the Artsformation Science Fiction Sessions. Artsformation is a research project that aims to understand, analyse, and promote the ways in which the Arts can reinforce the social, cultural, economic, and political benefits of digital transformation. 

The workshop was also created in collaboration with Catch - Center for art, design and technology.

View slides from the workshop here:

Download max patch from the workshop here 

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