Live Sampling in Improvised Musical Performance: Three Approaches and a Discussion of Aesthetics

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Three original software programs utilizing improvisation and live sampling are presented here, along with a discussion of aesthetic issues raised by each. They are entitled Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Musiker, Motet, and Gamepad Sampler. These programs vary in the degree of required interaction and in the kind of user control. They are each studies in imitative counterpoint through live sampling, with an approach seeking elegance before solutions. Because of the improvisational nature of these works, there is no standard musical score. Instead the complete Max/MSP source code and a sound recording of performances making use of these programs in varied situations ... continued below

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Morris, Jeffrey Martin August 2007.

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  • Morris, Jeffrey Martin

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Three original software programs utilizing improvisation and live sampling are presented here, along with a discussion of aesthetic issues raised by each. They are entitled Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Musiker, Motet, and Gamepad Sampler. These programs vary in the degree of required interaction and in the kind of user control. They are each studies in imitative counterpoint through live sampling, with an approach seeking elegance before solutions. Because of the improvisational nature of these works, there is no standard musical score. Instead the complete Max/MSP source code and a sound recording of performances making use of these programs in varied situations are included. A discussion of issues raised by these works includes aesthetics, ontology, performance, and the role of the composer. Non-interactive indeterminate compositions are ontologically thin, because some composerly agency is required of the performer. An interactive work can be ontologically substantial if it makes distinct and significant contributions to performance, even though it may not make sound on its own. Although reproducibility reduces ontology and eliminates aura, live sampling within a performance can deepen the ontology of the performance by recontextualizing previous events, reframing the original event as the first reference to an abstract musical idea that lies outside the musical performance. Reproducibility also diminishes the aura or stage presence in live performance with computers. Complex feedback systems can be used to create computation instruments: musical instruments whose unique structure resonates in ways not explicit in their programs. As the human condition and the situation of the composer change, definitions of the composer and performer must be revised. Composition is shifting away from the creation of static artifacts toward the design of dynamic systems.

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  • August 2007

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  • Jan. 14, 2008, 11:15 p.m.

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  • June 12, 2008, 3:20 p.m.

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Morris, Jeffrey Martin. Live Sampling in Improvised Musical Performance: Three Approaches and a Discussion of Aesthetics, dissertation, August 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc3936/: accessed December 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .