This dynamic approach to algorithmic composition, one of countless possible extensions of those developed by the pioneers in the field, is a powerful way to create a very musical composition. The computer plays a unique role in the process, assuming many of the computational functions in which, traditionally, the composer would be required to engage, allowing more freedom to oversee the project as a whole and maintain a more creative focus of the situation in general. By feeding it pre-determined constraints, the computer can generate specific instances that can be chosen from and further manipulated as required. This process resembles sculpting in that the composer is given, by the computer, a mass amount of data to work with and the opportunity to see and release the David that ultimately lives within it.
The intention has been that the delineation of the process utilized in the creation of Azimuth can be of benefit to others who are searching for ways of improving their compositional processes. Embracing the limitless possibilities afforded the composer through the development of a formal score in addition to the fine art of sound creation, whether it is through score based sampling or other digital synthesis techniques, is extremely powerful and rewarding. Musical sense can indeed be made of sounds that are comprised of relational characteristics, even if such sounds are new and heretofore unheard of in the ears of men.
Here are links to full length mp3s of the Four Movements of Azimuth:
Many thanks and credit to Otto Laske and Sylvia Pengilly for their faith, conversation, editing and encouragement, without which this paper would not exist. Also many thanks to Will Rice for his excellent final editing.
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