Flexatone HFP
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  • System Detail

System: Al & Erwin

Authors

Description

AL ... gorithmic Compositional Environment from Rajmil Fischman is a multiple document interface (MDI) application, with frame windows that present views of different documents and/or several views of the same document. It is designed for the creation and manipulation of sonic events and their organization into a structured musical work. In order to aid user familiarity with the software and a reasonably short learning curve, care was taken to develop an interface within an accepted general standard for windows applications; including a menu bar, a tool bar, common window components and typical mouse drag and drop operations. Also, key shortcuts are implemented for most commands. Another important consideration in the design of AL was the desire to provide a reasonably open system, with the option for development of third party plug-ins; thus avoiding the constraints imposed by a single type of musical process. Currently, AL is distributed as free software, in conjunction with ERWIN, a plug-in that applies the solutions of Schredingers equation for an atomic potential with radial symmetry (a well-known equation from Quantum Mechanics) to the creation of granular clouds. Hopefully, future developments by the author and others will implement a variety of compositional approaches in addition to ERWIN.

References

  • Fischman, Rajmil (2002) Application of Mathematical Models to the Generation of Organic Musical Structure and Discourse in Composition: Research Summary. Full citation.

“... the use of numerical machines no longer stands in need of justification. It is not a mystery. If there is a mystery, it is in the mental structures of music and not in the computers, which are only tools, extensions of the hand and the slide rule.”

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“... but beware, technique can submerge the user: We must defend ourselves; it is good to use techniques, but we have to dominate them, to stay alert.”

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“... and the hope of an extraordinary aesthetic success based on extraordinary technology is a cruel deceit.”

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“The danger is great of letting oneself be trapped by the tools and of becoming stuck in the sands of technology that has come like an intruder into the relatively calm waters of the thought in instrumental music.”

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“Music is then no longer primarily conceived as a guide for premeditated emotions, but as the density of the possible relationships which first become actuality during production under the influence of chance, and which during performance are presented to the listener as sounds beyond any environmental associatiations, independent of bodily actions required to produce sounds...”

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“The characteristics of every sound depend on the way in which the sound was produced. Each art-form exploits its special production methods in order to endow the phenomena with unmistakable characteristics. Artistic economy demands that the means be appropriate to the end, and that the exploitation of the means be an end in itself.”

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“Composers are now able, as never before, to satisfy the dictates of that inner ear of the imagination. They are also lucky so far in not being hampered by esthetic codification -- at least not yet! But I am afraid it will not be long before some musical mortician begins embalming electronic music in rules.”

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“With the development of electronic and computer music, multidemnsionality of sound representation turned out to be both natural and useful. But music goes beyond multidimensionality -- it is even more complex.”

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“... the individual and the society are deprived of the formidable power of free imagination that musical composition offers them. We are able to tear down this iron curtain, thanks to the technology of computers...”

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“The computing machine is a marvelous invention and seems almost superhuman. But in reality it is as limited as the mind of the individual who feeds it material. Like the computer, the machines we use for making music can only give back what we put into them.”

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“The use of computers is the logical outcome of a historical development. It by no means heralds a new musical epoch; it simply offers a fast, reliable and versatile means of solving problems that already demanded solution. The person who writes the computer programme must bear the development of musical language up to the present in mind, and try to advance a stage further.”

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