Data. Information. Noise. It is everywhere; simple to create and difficult to control. It can take a multitude of shapes, forms, and realizations, causing both action and reaction. This is the medium I work with, and the materials that I mould; not because I chose it, but because it chose me.
Studying as a Computer Engineer at the Univerity of British Columbia, programming proved to be a fasicating field of study, along with operating systems and mathematics. Although I was prevented by the department from taking any music courses, I was always drawn to the side of programming that is less known to most; that of the generative or data producing program. Such programs can be used to create audio, video and static images, and are much more interesting to spend time developming than your average commercial software application. The study of such things has brought me to study many fields that my degree sorely missed: philosophy, linguistics, and religion, to name a few.
My work is a combination of raw material generated by computer programs, combined with the element of human composition and critisim, creating pieces that appeal to those that seek the unique and unknown. My work does not start with specific results in mind; I find the prospect of the infinite possibility that the end piece may take much more appealing than the fight to create a perfect redition of a song in my head. Like 'finding' rather than rendering, this causes the artistic process to become a search, not unlike a game, with the correct combination of parameters, knowledge and luck being the codes to unlock the hidden secrets.
Many of my programs are based on random numbers, filtered specifically to my purposes, and as such, no to runs of each program are exctly alike. Much like the artist that must be recorded in a studio, my computer is my performer. Some takes may be perfect, some abysmal, and most are just lost in time when the record button has not been hit. Like a producer, I dream of catching that moment where everything comes together and that perfect track is laid, so that it can be shared with others.
The search for originality has lead me to use the computer as my tool in my search. The computer has no sense, no culturaly imposed restrictions on it's output or behaviour, no embarassment of a wrong note, no feelings about performance. It just does and hence becomes an enhancing tool to my own creativity. I have an idea for a song, I write a generative soul using programming languages, give it sounds with samples or synthesis. The writing of notes has been done for as long as musicial notion has been around; I don't have the patience to write them all, even if I had to training to do so. John Cage once said that in the future we will not listen to recordings, but programs that generate the music in the style that we wish to hear. I am attempting to realize that dream, if only because that is something that I dream of having.
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