Azimuth – page 3

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II. Preliminary Considerations

 A. Constraints and Considerations

The conceptual stage of the composition began with a list of constraints and guiding factors. The ideas listed below are specific predetermined criteria focused upon throughout the process. They involve decisions made with regard to previous compositions –  ways to improve, extend or simply deviate from what had been done before, as well as new ideas to integrate into the process. The list may be viewed as a comprehensive philosophy of composition that could take a lifetime to refine as it changes and grows to meet the specific needs of each new composition. 

• Design ways to create the widest degree of contrast between the various elements of the composition. In electronic music, timbral contrast that maintains musically meaningful relationships is sometimes difficult to achieve. 
• This composition will have a quasi symphonic form and will be comprised of four movements, each with unique characteristics setting it apart from the others.
• Create a wide array of density; density being defined as the value of duration in relation to start time. Shorter start times and longer the durations create a more frequent overlap in events, providing a greater density.
• Create sections that are contrapuntal in nature and others that are not and many degrees in between.
• Create sections where phrasing is a consideration. While melody in a traditional sense is not desired, an allusion to melody would be present in certain areas.
• Make tempi widely variable from section to section and in general from movement to movement.
• Write code in the orchestra to make the choice regarding which global effect is to be used, variable on an event by event basis.
• Remember to include many little nuances to provide that extra something. Use these to tie things together as well. Boulez called this “virtual orchestration”.
• Include areas syntactic in nature as well as areas more soundscape in nature. A soundscape would, in this context, be defined as a composition or section of a composition, which is devoid of syntax.
• When creating base samples have each base sample morph to each of the other base samples.
• Create a detailed plan (schema) for the mixing of the samples. This is to achieve the maximum degree of variance between samples.
• Retrograde some of the scores.
• Provide for flexibility in the schema, which allows it to be altered while in the process of creating the samples; if a particularly “rich vein” is found, develop it.
• Extend previously used panning algorithms to include more waveforms to provide more variables on an event by event basis. This will disperse the stereo panorama over a greater range and create space for each event.  

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