Seth Horvitz is the man behind pioneering glitch and microhouse project Sutekh.
Under his real name, he's doing computer-generated piano. He joins Wolfgang Voigt in the pantheon of techno - computer-piano producers, and sits alongside such heavyweights as Conlon Nancarrow and Rytis Mazulis. It's not Horvitz's first foray into the 'classical' realm, last year's On Bach by Sutekh took that crown, but this hems more closely to classical instrumentation than did that digital Wendy Carlos update.
Inspired by the work of James Tenney, György Ligeti, Charlemagne Palestine, and Conlon Nancarrow, Eight Studies for Automatic Piano makes use of simple, computer-aided compositional processes to test the limits of human perception and machine precision. It relies on a bare minimum of technical means to explore notions of temporal distortion, iterative process, and elegant complexity. Presented in an immersive concert setting without the presence of a human performer, Eight Studies questions traditional notions of live performance and musical “life.” The methods, processes, philosophy, and influences behind the work are discussed below in a series of mini-essays. An additional section provides detailed technical descriptions of each piece, followed by a series of graphical scores based on the computer’s version of the “piano roll.”
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