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.


I'm on the CCRMA stage working on my 220c piece.

I'm not feeling very good about it right now.  I think there is some
good stuff in there but at the same time I find myself falling into a
lot of old patterns that don't really add anything.  It has a high
risk of becoming a meaningless piece of fluff by the time I'm through.

There's also the pressure of the end-of-May concert where it will be
played.  Will the people who come for "computer music" be annoyed by
the strict rhythm and tonality?  Will the people who come for "what's
computer music?" be annoyed by the overly synthy sound and feel?  Will
the "real" musicians be annoyed by how I use the disklavier?  Will the
"real" composers be annoyed by my lack of appropriate whatever that I
don't even know exists?  Will the people who like this style of music
judge my piece as inferior?

There are just so many unknowns with the piece as it currently stands
that it's hard for me to imagine the end result.  I wish I had
infinite time on the stage to slowly work through everything, but I
don't.  So I have to just try to make the best piece I can with the
time and resources I have.

I think that music should be a pure expression of emotion.  But
emotions are a very personal thing, and different people react
differently to the same stimuli.  There are some things that are
roughly psychoacoustically constant across the human race (loud, low
frequencies might inspire fear or awe since they resemble a large
animal, for instance) but I've found that it's difficult for me to
know how anyone else will react to something that I write.

And so in the end I have to use the same criterion that I always do:
am I personally satisfied with what I wrote?  I have exactly one month
to make that answer "Yes!"

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.