First Album of Music Composed for Twitter Released

By November 19, 2009

{b="GGHJJHGECCEG".ascii.stutter;,0,Dseq([b,71!3,69!5,b,69!3,67!5,0].flat.midicps))*[1,2];}.play That’s Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, written in SuperCollider, the programming language behind sc140, the first album of music composed expressly for tweets. Up to five minutes of music can be squeezed into 140 SuperCollider characters. Dan Stowell, a composer and PhD candidate in computer science at the University of London, was composing with SuperCollider and tweeted instructions on how to compose with it. Suddenly, many people were tweeting their songs. "Some of the tweets made such great music that I couldn't just let them vanish into the ether,” Stowell said. “So I brought all the best ones together in an online album."

The album was produced in conjunction with The Wire, a forum for "adventures in modern music."

"For computer scientists and composers alike, it's an interesting challenge," said Stowell. "Musicians often enjoy the challenge of working within limitations, and in our research group we investigate new ways of making music and communicating artistically."

Stowell compares the music on sc140 to more avant-garde sides of popular electronic music.

"My granny might raise her eyebrows if I gave her sc140 for Christmas, but if yours is the Aphex Twin type, then she'd definitely love it," Stowell said.

Digital art, culture and technology blog Vague Terrain says of sc140: “The resulting compilation is fun and exploratory, repeated listening of the pieces reveals a surprising amount of depth (given the stiff constraints).”

The music on sc140 is generative, so listening to a song the second time will produce different musical results.

Electronic composition, restraints and chance-based results?  Somewhere, John Cage and Stockhausen are smiling down upon their legacy.

Via: PhysOrg

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