this time i came to CalArts to complete a project, which i have dreamed about for the last few years – a piece of music for singers based on mathematical models, that are used to describe physical processes
those equations known as attractors, and are used to describe or predict processes in nature, societies, economics, and other complex and dynamic systems that express seemingly chaotic behavior. this includes highly detailed processes of the smallest scale like formation of the colonies of microorganisms, as well as violent and huge occurrences like cyclones
i wanted to preserve the mathematical nature of the piece, but didn’t want it to sound highbrow and hermetic. in order to kill these two birds with one stone i mapped the outcome of my algorithms to the scales used in traditional ukrainian music, mainly of Polesie region*
there were few problems, though. to compose i used SuperCollider (SC), a powerful environment for music and other forms of media. in SC with the use of math i could produce as complicated structures as one cannot imagine, but… i didn’t know how to write scores )) so, 2 months before the residence i dived deep into the theory of music, and in 2 weeks already started writing some short and meaningful passages. to complete the scores i had also to use Python which is known for its flexibility in processing complicated structures of data, and the “brute force” of music engraving Lilypond
thus… all open source, all text based. no GUI, only text files and command line. well, that’s the world i used to dwell in ))
after 2 months of work i got the scores for 25-30min piece for 5 voices a-capella, mixed choir with lots of mistakes and other elements that could make performers angry, but! i was going to CalArts where there supposed to be a lot more composers per square meter than in my hometown. so, i hoped for help and collaboration…
<to be continued with fancy additions such as pictures and recordings>
* big thanks to Alla Zagaykewich for sharing with me the recordings of the authentic singing and to Tomek Chołoniewski for help in their analysis!
and of course, THANKS a million to CEC Artslink for making it all possible!