Music 680: Special Topics in Music Theory - Electronics in Performance (Fall 2006)
Class 7: October 23, 2006

John Cage Cartridge Music (1960)
	presaging the amplification techniques of Mikrophonie I
	but to very different aesthetic ends: exploration rather than control

James Pritchett, "Music Not Composition", from The Music of John Cage
	0'00" as a line of demarcation in Cage's style and activities
		partly as a response to increasing public activity...
		and partly as a continuing commitment to innovation
	"informal and ephemeral quality": scores made after the fact, or not at all
		"music became whatever it was that Cage was doing"
	substituting actions for sounds
		Variations VI: "the notations refer to what is to be done, not what is heard or to be heard"
		even tape music becomes action-oriented and theatrical in Rozart Mix!
			(and what a change that represents from the earlier Williams Mix)
			process over content - any sounds are acceptable as long as they pass through the system
		emphasis on meta-control (as in Reunion) rather than control
	nevertheless, these systems and processes divert and subvert compositional intention
		(radical amplification produces unpredictable results)
		"what one thought was inactivity is really full of uncontrollable, unintentional actions..."
	emphasis on simultaneity: the circus model (and Buckminster Fuller's notion of "abundance")

Pauline Oliveros Applebox Double (1965)
	amplification, improvisation, and idiosyncratic instruments
	electronics design as composition

James Pritchett, "David Tudor as Composer/Performer in Cage's Variations II", LMJ14 (2004), pp. 11-16.
	"the unpredictability of the amplified piano that not only shaped Tudor's rather stylized approach
		to the Variations II notation but was the controlling factor in his manner of interpreting the score
		he had so produced."
	"simple" and "complex" actions referring to the actions taken, not to the sounds produced....
	Tudor's choice of binary "simple/complex" decisions as opposed to Cage's proposed "continuous"
		variables as a move towards flexibility and improvisation in performance
	because electronics (and especially the available technology of the 1960s) resist the kind of fine
		control over performance with which Tudor had been working at the piano in the 1950s
		"instruments 'you could only hope to influence'"

David Tudor Pulsers (1976)
	increasing sophistication of the instrument-building
		as Tudor retires from the piano to become a composer/performer of live electronic music
	emphatically not improvised: "performance composition" as exploration vs. improv as recycling
		freedom as an ethical responsibility

Pd techniques: algorithms
	imbuing software with "intelligence," or with "resistance"
		Electronic Music for Piano, Lattice, and Kepler's Monsters
	statistically weighted randomness: linear and triangular distributions
		linear: generate two random numbers and choose the larger one
			(or the smaller, depending on which way you want the linear ramp to go)
		triangular: generate two random numbers and average them
		build a patch which produces these distributions and writes them into an array for comparison
	arrays as gestural data; repeatable resource
		build a patch which produces some kind of prolation canon from array data
	parametric coherence vs. parametric independence - common timebase or independent?

assignment 5: create a brief algorithmic composition in Pd
preview of next week: Stockhausen Mantra