Millions of Bells in the Cathedral
Walked into Saint Peter's and Saint Paul's cathedral and got impressed as when walking through rooms at La Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Difference here was that perception is not as related to pattern matching of visual sights but instead as to thousands of aural clues radiated from at least a quarter of a sphere beyond the transept of this space. Moving from one position to another along the nave seemed that reflections would only marginally change. Several insights came to mind. If symmetries are part of pattern recognition while looking at floors and ceilings on La Alhambra, could a similar behavior arise product of reflections and resonances on this cathedral as well as on spaces alike?.
Could we model this behavior for artificial reverberation or Higher order Ambisonics' reverberation. How symmetries affect resonant modes on big spaces like this. Would symmetric reflecting paths affect localization clues for sound sources. A side approach for resolving these questions was that of taking impulse responses on different positions using an Ambisonics' microphone approach on three omni-directional microphones using a 'x-y-z' pattern. These responses would later be used on the Zita Convolver for convolution reverb and perhaps some Matlab modeling to adjust parameters. Although still a hunch, there might be some symmetrical perception effects result of colliding impulse responses from different points of sight in the cathedral. The above points can also be summoned on Barry Blesser's book ``Spaces speak, are you listening''( (pg 247):
``Think of a cathedral as millions of bells(resonating
oscillators), each with its own pitch(resonance
frequency), and each with a slightly different decay
rate(reverberation time). The clarinet sound (or a flue
sound) rings (excites) only those bells with a pitch
corresponding to the frequency content of the clarinet
(or flue).- In other words, you are actually hearing the
bells of space, not the original clarinet (or flue)
- Equally inspiring Messiaen on the cathedral's 100+ ranks organ!.- [2017-11-15]
 Blesser B. and LB. Salter, Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture MIT Press, Cambridge, USA, September, 2009.
At 143rd AES New York 2017
Got invitations for AES-2017 143 International convention at Javits Center in New York City. Not presenting paper this time though. Primary objective was to find out about commercial applications for First Order Ambisonics (FOA). Also to seek for network-Ethernet speaker-monitor implementations on multi channel applications like High Order Ambisonics (HOA). Got to listen and test Waves Ambisonics plug-in with bin-aural modeling on headphones. To my taste, ``sounds good but is not the real thing''. Further on AES show, got lucky to be in an almost bis-a-bis demonstration of JBL-7 series monitors. They demoed 7:2 and 9:2 applications for studio monitoring in addition to a further monitor count on Dolby Atmos surround environments. This last demonstration was ``as close as it would sound'' to HOA 3-D audio diffusion. JBL 7 Series sound great plus there is a passive version network-able to some extend. Amplification calibration and equalization is done through a networked system called Intonato 24 and multi-channel amplifiers easing installations and portability. -Not that we are endorsing this system but seems like a good option-. Wish that audio through Ethernet were beyond its dawn phase and that more companies were supporting more open source efforts. Thanks to Waves and JBL for taking my concerns. [2017-10-19]
Data-sets for manipulating hexachords from tone-rows
Still on the question or rather inquiry of ``past is new'' in relation to various aspects of creative processes. Had to return to scrapbook notes on composition with tone rows and pitch classes. Perhaps the musical event in contrast with the sound event or the overlapping of both. Seems that due to some complexities arising from working with sets of pitch classes (PCS), manipulation of resulting data might be bounded to set theory or combinatorics. No news though, but an opportunity for a window on ``computer assisted composition'' (CAC). Common rationale on these methods are often portrayed as keeping up with bunch of calculations and operations which by hand might end up as tedious or cumbersome processes (also a reason why many people avoid this kind of procedures). Models assist on dealing with this data and its transcendence into musical meaning.
Had the idea of working on a composition using two tone rows. Given that a tone row is a list of numbers representing pitches or note events, these lists can be stored on data structures such as arrays, vectors or lists themselves as in the case of Lisp. A hexachord (HC) is a subset of a tone row and a list with fewer elements. Being so, each HC has its own identity. Symmetries are tallied by taking resulting HCs from the prime form of the row, its retrograde, inversion and retrograde inversion. -For this research had to concentrate on prime forms and inversions to make things manageable-. Wrote algorithms in addition to helper functions to access tone rows as data sets, for casting HCs, and to further find combinations and permutations for chord candidates.
Trial and error resulting from computer modeling and prototyping on horizontal samples for laying out hexachords has helped on finding sequences transcending to musical events and fulfilling composition ambitions. Though most tests end up being done by ear. Note event sequences are the result of ``pattern processing'' using methods like weightings, cycles, rotations and palindromes. Common Music (CMv2) still alive and useful for CAC, and for implementing these procedures (thanks to Anders Vinjar, Torsten Anders, Tito Latini, Rick Taube, and others). Worth saying, heuristics have been focused on symmetries given by hexachords, rhythmic measures and others. Not to say the least, the above is currently used as source in a piece for tele-performance and marimba named Yapaya. [2017-09-05]
On a side note: a recurrent insight in regards to composition of new works is that of the 'concert' as a form of presenting time-based works. ``Concert presentations should be continuously reevaluated''.
Twenty(plus) years of Equus and Resonances
This composition served as incidental music for a stage production of Equus by Peter Shaffer in Bogota, featuring prominent actors, dancers and production team. It was among the first time computer music took a role on a stage play in Colombia. Synthesis of computer music was rendered -not in real-time- using Csound and Common Music on a Macintosh II computer. Several of the signal processing techniques included phase vocoder, FOF, convolution of spectra, as well as FM and substractive synthesis. Rendering of a one minute single channel of audio took several hours with this kind of hardware. [read more and listen to some excerpts] [2017-05-06]
Spectra and Tranversal Sonora November 2016: Final remarks at a composer's gathering
Following are final remarks, and what was forgotten, or simply couldn't be said during a composer's round table that turned out to be a composer's gathering while at Spectra et Transversal Sonora new music venues in Bogota on November 2016. For this purpose Roger Reynolds composer and mentor of mentors is quoted from his book, Mind Models, New Forms of Digital Experience , first published more than forty years ago.
The most basic and still expanding capacity of human
intelligence is the ability to retain 'images' of experience
and to influence subsequent behavior by drawing upon them in
the absence of conscious volition.
If we are to to expand the size of our internal and
emotional space art -as an integrated individual response to
life in a given society- is an efficient agent to this
Questions of academics, artistic responsibility, aesthetic
conscience, dexterities, social duties among others were
surfaced a this meeting. Next statement summons a basis for
Because of synchrony between art
ideas and techniques for realizing them, composers today are
more than music theory advocates. Implying that modern
creation with all means at hand is conceived and perceived
on several layers by all senses, and not so constrained to
the eyes and ears. As suggested on Reynolds' quote at
the beginning, a work should trace an image on the minds of
If as artists we should assimilate our surroundings, the
ability to tackle different domains can pose some
complexity. But the sole issue of focusing on 'the
image' invites inspiration for inter-and-trans
disciplinary cooperation. It might be that we are not so
dreaming anymore when we find musical scores representing
perspectives, differential equations, vectors, matrices, and
etc. -And who said being an artist was an easy way of life.-
Quoting R. Reynolds again,
It is crucial to develop an
understanding of the present expansion of material and
means. However, be clear that dexterity on a
particular technique might not be enough.
"New music" might not sound sweet to strands of music tastes but this should not restrain artists from efforts to compose new works. If art as a response in a given society, and provided that there is always someone willing to enlarge her/his mental and emotional world through new aesthetic experiences, creators should extend boundaries so that a piece is a remark and listeners are gratified by their own discoveries. A remark on a piece or a work of art might as well be the voice of the unconscious or even the conscious. To make a statement through a piece, the work must be executed, presented and perceived so that the listener apprehends those extended boundaries mentioned before. [2016-11-26]
 Reynolds R., Mind models: new forms of musical experience,First Edition, Praeger,USA, 1975
Semana del Arte @ PUJ, P. Universidad Javeriana, Santiago de Cali
One of guest keynote speakers at Semana del Arte (ART-WEEK), organized by artist and dean Sofia Suarez of the fine arts department. For the occasion, a new instance of 'Marimonda Sketches', now called Arimond came into being. As the notion of spatial textures, as well as 3D perception of music was trying to be portrayed, Arimond posted several challenges in order to become a second order Ambisonics piece. Like on the original, sound paths follow an infinity-figure-path along the plane, or perhaps the sphere, because of a metaphor based on real elephant ears (not the plant). The ears of the marimonda, a character of the Barranquilla Carnival, resemble those of the elephant, and marimondas claim "to hear music better".
Furthermore, because of factors function of Newtonian physics such as speed, time and distance for motion in space, a diversity of patterns following the marimonda metaphor have been achieved. Add this to context features like room-size plus reverberation and a variety of gestures come out, while dealing with this sort of composition. An infinity-like path can be obtained by using schemes such as those of Lissajous Figures, Spirogrpaphs, or maybe patterns commonly used on the Jacquard loom (listen to J. Chowning's Turenas for more on the subject). On a technical side note, used S7 Scheme programming to debug old code and to model spatial patterns for Arimond. In particular fine tuning of delay lines size.
On a final note, wish spatial features in music were better understood by new electroacoustic audiences. As in the past, sometimes they come as a shock for some people or as sound effects of fiction movies for others. - Met wonderful students, colleagues and friends. My gratitude to Sofia, Maria, Daniela, Lorena, Sebastian, Paula, Coco, and Santiago Rueda.- [2016-10-06]
Dynamic patterns for motion of sound on ``Os grilos''
Article on Sonic Ideas/Ideas Sónicas Vol 8 No. 16
Motion of sound sources on multiphonic compositions can often become artificial and nonsense. Most composers tackling the issue, carefully aboard the space parameter. One direction, not so artificial, and from a perception standpoint, deals on how we trace with sound textures on a 3D space. On Os Grilos, a computer music and multiphonic piece, sound textures are cast using Scanned Synthesis techniques. Thereon textures are scattered through various planes by means of several natural tracing techniques such as Lissajous Figures and similar patterns. As explained by Pablo Di Liscia on his introduction of Volume 8 No. 16 of Sonic Ideas, this article describes nuances to achieve spatial manipulation and haptics for the sound of this piece. [2016-06-02]
Expyezp: constructivism avoiding data redundancy
A paper and presentation at BunB(2016) conference describing ExpyeZp, an -all inclusive- collaborative effort aimed towards discussion of new music, science and technology. On its beginnings ExpyeZp was a colloquium and physical gathering evolving through the years into an Internet mailing list and a forum reaching an audience throughout Latinamerica and beyond. On its modus operandi is seeded on the assumption that there are not bad ideas and further no idea is better than other. Consequently interactions and efforts strive on avoiding two or more ideas on the same concept otherwise known as data or information redundancy. This article portraits traditional hacker's postures on community development, confrontation of ideas in constructive mannerisms for building knowledge and ingredients used on development and creation of new forms of arts. [Presentation Slides] [article]. [2016-05-10]
Searching gestures with LPC
Neat sounds have came up while using speech signals and bowed string sounds through LPC. Ever since I met Paul Lansky a dozen or so back ICMCs, I've been intrigued about LPC. -And speaking of getting those FFTs right-, "hands on because you don't know until you try it". Paul Lansky's computer music encircle emphatic rhythmic components on most of his compositions and thus contrast with other pieces. In our chat at ICMC he surfaced core facets in LPC, but at the time I did not get all ideas. To my defense, LPC software was out of reach unless you had access to NeXT computers or DEC Mainframes. Even so, analysis and re-synthesis were slow and patience teasers, just like with the Phase Vocoder. Mid nineties' Csound will run on Macintosh II therefore enabling analysis tools for re-synthesis accessible on desktop machines.
More recently Josh Parmenter while at DxArts wrote 'ugens' implementing LPC and other analysis tools for SuperCollider based on code suggestions in Dick Moore's book EOFCM, and fast enough to bring back my attention to the subject matter. While analysis is not real time, re-synthesis and transformations can be done on the fly. A real time implementation of LPC is rt_lpc developed at Princeton by Perry Cook, Ge Wang and others. It reminds me of Paul Lansky's keynote speech at ICMC-89, Ohio State. Although I don't want to appropriate Lansky's sound on Idle Chatter or from any of his pieces, at this time it seems feasible to experiment, because on parallel layers, LPC signals are also control signals. Aside from carrier signals for amplitude modulation, FM or PM, LPC analysis is also a good pitch tracker. [2016-03-30]
What about those applications of the Fourier Transform?
On a recent discussion among new generation of spanish speaking composer/performers and lone wolf somewhat older composers, the issue of timbre's exhaustion came on [see here]. It has been seen -and listened- that recent performances and composition of young creators comprises a constrained set of sounds and timbre's manipulation techniques. One reason might be easiness and availability of real time audio processing. Young ones complain: "If we have 'rt' tools why should we explore further". Few of us were surprised that applications of the Fourier transform are unknown or seldom used by new practitioners of computer music. Therefore terminology like Convolution, Phase Vocoder, LPC, FOF, and Spectral modeling, seems Greek to many. While they know about commercial software packages, few care about the FFT. Is this good or bad, an answer rather lies in the domain of aesthetics. FTR, these notes are being written while waiting for the LPC analysis of a sound file. [2016-02-20]
TikiTik performed on TeleMAMM _@_ Radical Chamber
TikiTik performed on TeleMAMM at Radical Chamber series (cámara radical) on the Modern Art Museum of Medellin (MAMM). Telepresence for this piece featuring Elena Fuentes(violin), Simón Castaño(water flute), Miguel Vargas(armonica) and Andrés Sampedro(IT & systems-ad bureaucracy). This tele-concert -first of its class in a private museum on these latitudes-, also featured Simón Castaño's Canción de Mantas for distributed ensembles, Mario Valencia's Mirror for remote percussionists, and Terry Riley's In C. Oscar Ceballos at Caldas University in Manizales(UdeC) and Fernando Mora at Antioquia Univestity in Medellín(UdeA) conducted ensembles consisting of guitars and electric guitars in addition to flutes and percussion. Mario Valencia, Sebastian Castaño and Fernando Mora developed and implemented a MAX/Jitter patch for close-to-real-time visuals among the three remote locations of the concert, namely UdeA, UdeC and MAMM. Jacktrip on Linux and Mac was used for audio over UDP and to connect all concert's sites. Audio system at MAMM featured a second-order Ambisonics setup. [2015-11-24]
Restoring old compositions "A curious Character" (curioso caracter)
Some Ampex 456 tapes were baked in order to rescue "Curioso Caracter", a Musique Concrete piece done in the early nineties and dedicated to maverick educator Ernesto Bein. At the time a Sony TCD-D10 PRO DAT digital recorder with a stereo microphone was borrowed to record source material at "El Moderno", a school in Bogota on the middle of the prestigious neighborhood of El Nogal. Nevertheless most signal processing was analog using tape manipulation techniques on MCI Recorders and AKG Reverberation plate and spring units. Sound sources for this piece were those of the school between 10:00AM and 12:30PM back in 1990. Worth to point out were bell sounds coming from a nun cloister next to the school which indicated 30 minute intervals. In addition to boys' voices there were pigeon sounds and bird singing. This school housed pigeons in a 'palomar' feeding them every day at 10:00AM. Some of the captured material is taken from students doing these feedings. "Curioso Caracter" though Musique Concrete, today might be tagged as a "Soundscape". [2015-09-15]
A telematic art exhibit and gathering including teleconcerts, installations, and workshops. Among participants Jacktrip developer Juan Pablo Caceres, trombonist and UC Irvine Music Dept. chair Michael Dessen and telematic arts maverick Chris Chafe. Teleconcerts included works by José Gallardo, Juan Pablo Caceres, Bruno Ruviaro, Juan Reyes and Hector Fabio Torres. Organized by Juan Reyes and Mario Valencia. [2015-05]
A multiphonic computer music using eight channels et Ambisonics for live telematic performances.
'Os Grilos' for Scanned Synthesis and second-order Ambisonics was programmed at one of the concerts at the Triple CCRMAlite venue. John Chowning encouraged Juan Reyes on keep working on this type of synthesis. See more of the story at the program notes. Thanks a lot to Eoin Callery and Nette Worthey for their support and encouragement. [2014-10]
A Multichannel second-order Ambisonics computer music using Bill Verplank's and Max Mathews' Scanned Synthesis.
Research on implementation of delays and moving sound sources with application to the Leslie speaker. ChucK, Scheme and Lisp code that implements Smith, Serafin, et al, "Doppler simulation and the Leslie", Web page [here].
Tele Espacios Activos I
Grain of salt to 2014's International Festival of Image in Manizales, Colombia. First rendition of Tele Espacios Activos featured a teleconcert with performances between Manizales and Stanford, and between Manizales, Cali and Medellín, Colombia. Natalia Castellanos (at U. de Caldas) and Juan Reyes (at Stanford) had a tele performance of Reyes' Open Spaces on this venue.
Joined performers and composers from around the world. While main stage was at Stanford's Bing auditorium, there were other stages around the planet. Tele-espacios Abiertos was performed by Zhengshan Shi at Bing as well as Lilian Campesato and Julian Jaramillo in Sao Paulo and Daniel Osorio, Mario Valencia and Juan Reyes in Manizales. View concert performance.
A composition for telematic performance as well as a video sound installation. Sound sources and material come from physical models of banded waveguides, namely a model of the Tibetan singing bowl programmed by the composer. More about banded wageguides on Georg Essl's web page.
Invited to Arcured in Barranquilla Colombia. Arcured is a network of culture and arts conformed by members of academic institutions affiliated to Red Clara throughout Latinamerica. This conference aimed to professors and artists focused on new network technologies applied to the arts. Gave a talk on Group Interaction and Telepresence at Simon Bolivar University. Also a performance of Computer Music concert at MAMB, Museo de Arte Moderno de Barranquilla and a Colombian Tele-concert featuring Cuatro25 Orejas for piano, electronics and visuals with performers at Icesi Univerity in Cali, Caldas University in Manizales and Juan Reyes at the piano at Universidad Autonoma in Barranquilla.
Congreso Internacional de Artes del Caribe
Invited talk at the Caribbean Art Congress at Cartagena, Colombia. Organized by the School of Arts of Bolivar and University of Antioquia, this congress was a gathering to reflect on art and technology. Subject of this talk focused on spontaneity on music performance and the arts.
A celebration of John Chowning's return to Bogota this time at Javeriana University. This venue was a four(+) days gathering and included talks and a composer's colloquium in addition to Maureen and John Chowning's concert and a telematic performance of John Cage's Four6 between Bogota, Sao Paulo and Stanford. This venue was organized by Ricardo Escallon and Juan Reyes.
FLAMIM or Latinamerican forum for new musical interfaces inside frameworks of Diseño(+) at Icesi University in Cali, Colombia. Joined Wendy Ju, and fellow colleagues Michael Gurevich and Jaime Oliver for panels, workshops and discussions on the subject matter of music interaction. Part of this forum included a teleconcert (first of its kind using advanced networks in Colombia), with performers at University of Michigan, Stanford University and Icesi University. Performers included Stephen Rush and his Digital Ensemble at Ann Arbor, Chris Chafe, Roberto Morales, Rob Hamilton, et al, at Stanford, as well as Jaime Oliver, Michael Gurevich, Daniel Gomez, Juan Reyes and others at Icesi. Other performances at FLAMIM featured a new realization of John Cage’s Rozart Mix in honor of the composer’s centennial directed by Michael Gurevich. Program also featured Juan Reyes' Oranged (lima-limón) for multi-channel tape. This venue was organized by Maria Clara Betancourt, Daniel Gomez and Juan Reyes.
An electronic arts exhibit with Colombian artists at Caraffa Museum in Cordoba, Argentina. On the program there was a live performance of Horace in San Mateo and improvisation on piano of Cuatro25 Orejas for piano and live electronics at La Cúpula Gallery. Venue curated by Jorge Castro and supported by the Alzate Avendaño Foundation of Colombia.
A realtime algorithmic computer music and live electronics piece for "Fender Rhodes" (if possible) and pianoforte Sounds. The piece follows on the spirit of the augmented ninth dominant or plus eleventh chords seldom used by pianist Horace Silver on several of his compositions.
This is a sound installation as well as an eight-channel tape music composition. In this piece sounds travel a path inside a boxed environment obtained by Lissajous patterns applied to intensity panning on each source.
A sound art exhibit featuring Chuchoter as well as other works from various artists it the Museum of Modern Art of Bogota. This exhibit also featured talks on the subject matters of computer music and new ways of expression and performance.
A sound art exhibit featuring FtheF for visuals and modeled bowed strings and artificial performer. This is a multichannel composition and sound space intervention. Sound sources come from the physical model of the bowed string.
This is a new rendition of the original ``Freddie the Friedlander'' for physical model of the bowed string plus artificial performer. This version adds visuals and color in an attempt to image-by-synesthesia fabrication.
This is an algorithmic miniature piece for sound samples of saxophone. In its code the algorithm pursues J. C. Risset's rhythmic paradoxes, which in this case give the illusion of an ever lasting accelerandi o decrescendi. This piece is dedicated to music education advocate and winds performer Terry Mohn.
This is a course offered for students interested in symbols, semantics and grammars of gesture on various domains. Initially conceived for music performance students have also found applications on visual and space arts as well as dance and body art.
Not too recent but current:
A tutorial for electroacustic composition or sound art production 'en español'. Used on several workshops at Universities and institutions throughout Latinamerica.