Music 120Z: etude #6 - precompositional plan
Before starting to work in Pro Tools, make a timeline, score, or other plan which maps out the evolution of at least three musical parameters over a chosen duration. Then make a composition according to your pre-ordained guidelines.
You may use any available source materials for this assignment, and record new materials in the lab.
Work in stereo.
Your composition may be as short as a minute or as long as a few minutes.
Submit your precompositional plan as well as your finished piece.
Consider basing your plan on one or many processes or metaphors. You might use models from fields like mathematics (different types of curves), biology (models of competition or population growths), medicine (chemical reactions or cell behaviors), literature (the sequence of events within a novel, or the textual layout of a poem), or the visual arts (intepreting the proportions of a painting or piece of architecture). Random processes (whether computer-generated, or through tossing coins or dice) are also possible.
Consider a wide range of possible musical parameters. For instance, you might control durations, amplitudes, panning, pitches, the onset of events, the types of sounds or processing used, the number of events happening simultaneously, etc. Parameters can apply to phrases and formal shapes as well as to note- or event-level materials.
Consider a variety of possible scales: you might move linearly or logarithmically through a series of frequencies; you might choose from a limited set of possible sound objects; you might exclude medium-length durations in favor of short and long.
Xenakis is the classic instance of a composer oriented towards formalized precompositional models; Stockhausen, Cage, and Ferneyhough are also excellent examples (at least some of the time).
Daring: make your plans or processes as extreme as possible. Let them push you outside of your normal compositional intentions and preferences.
Rigor: change your plan as little as possible when realizing the final composition.
Progression: are your plans audible in the final result? are they intended to be?
Burn your final draft onto an audio CD; please label it with your name and the assignment number.
Submit your plan and CD in class on Monday, November 10th, 2003.
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