Mike Wilson's Blog

I was a MA/MST student at Stanford's Center for Computer Research in Music and Accoustics.

This is my weblog.

Click here for my main page.


This week every project course has something due on the same day
(today).  I was feeling a bit of despair over this until I sat down
and looked at what we were actually doing:

- Sonify some datasets

- Build a prototype music controller

- Write some networked music software

These are things that I've wanted to try doing anyway!  I do wish I
had a bit more time though.

Yesterday Max Matthews, the "Father of Computer Music", let me play
his radio baton.  It was a lot of fun.  Basically it consists of two
batons tuned to different frequencies and large capacitive antennas
layed out in a specific configuration that act as sensors, giving
accurate X and Y positions and a somewhat less fine-grained
Z-direction reading for each baton.  Max built an entire system around
this which allows you to use it to control various aspects of a
musical piece - tempo, dynamics, timbres, etc.  It was a lot of fun,
and it was also fun talking with Max and seeing how he interacted with
the system he had created.

A score file has to be written out for each piece that is to be
performed.  When I asked Max if it was difficult or burdensome to do
this he said "If you love the music, it's a pleasure."  I think that's
applicable to what the other students and I are doing here in general.
Work that could be odious in other contexts becomes a pleasure through
the love of music.

Max also sent me the manual for the radio baton's conductor program
and suggested I write a piece for it.  I will try to do that when I
get some time.

email mwilson@alumni.caltech.edu
Disclaimer: the views herein are my own and do not represent the views of Stanford University. All material copyright Michael J. Wilson.