When Harry Met Iannis 2016

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Proposal
Short Form
Intermediate

Excerpt

Iannis Xenakis passed away on February 4, 2001. When he arrived in Heaven, he sought out his mentor, Olivier Messiaen. Messiaen said, “Iannis, there’s someone here I want you to meet.” The two walked over to a small sidewalk cafe, and there sat Harry Partch. And so from this fanciful meeting in Heaven, “When Harry Met Iannis” was born. Now I'm not a carpenter like Partch was, and I don't have access to conductors or orchestras like Xenakis did, so I'll have to synthesize instruments and performers. The software that makes this possible is an open-source language called ChucK. I'll talk a bit about the Partch music theory, Xenakis' use of game theory and the ChucK language. But mostly, this talk is about the music and not the tools that made it. And you'll be the first to hear "When Harry Met Iannis 2016" in its entirety.

Description

Iannis Xenakis passed away on February 4, 2001. When he arrived in Heaven, he sought out his mentor, Olivier Messiaen. Messiaen said, “Iannis, there’s someone here I want you to meet.” The two walked over to a small sidewalk cafe, and there sat Harry Partch.

And so from this fanciful meeting in Heaven, “When Harry Met Iannis” was born. From Partch, the piece inherits the 43-tone just scale, tuned to G = 392 Hz. Also from Partch, the piece inherits the need to build instruments to play in the Partch scale. The harmonies in “When Harry Met Iannis” are derived from the Tonality Diamond.

Now we have the harmonic structure – the Tonality Diamond. This is where Xenakis comes in. Xenakis was a pioneer in algorithmic music composition. Among his numerous algorithmic composition techniques was one he called “Musical Strategy” – game theory applied to music. Pieces in this vein included “Duel”, a competition between two conductors leading two orchestras.

Now I’m not a carpenter like Partch was, so I won’t be building real musical instruments – I’ll be synthesizing them using open source software. And I don’t have access to conductors or orchestras like Xenakis did – I’ll have to synthesize those too. The software that makes this possible is an open-source language called ChucK.

I’ll talk a bit about the Partch theory and Tonality Diamond, a bit about game theory, and a bit about the ChucK language and why it’s optimal for this kind of music. But mostly, this talk is about the music and not the tools that made it. You’ll be the first to hear “When Harry Met Iannis 2016” in its entirety.

Tags

algorithmic composition, digital sound synthesis, Harry Partch, Iannis Xenakis, microtonality

Speaking experience

I've been speaking since I was a child. ;-) But seriously, I used to give sales presentations and demos for high-performance computing, I was on Jeopardy! and I was in 25 plays when I was a graduate student - in applied mathematics.

Oh, yeah - and I was a speaker last year at Open Source Bridge - http://opensourcebridge.org/sessions/1583

Speaker

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