Four Three​-​Part Inventions in 22 EDO

by joel taylor

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This album is a collection of four small works to be performed in 22 Equal Divisions Per Octave (EDO) tuning by a computer. The work is performed using a Max patch that I designed in 2012. The patch produces 3 midi-note streams or parts, using both deterministic and stochastic methods.

These 3 midi parts are here fed into Pianoteq, a physical modeling/sampling based computer program that simulates keyboard or tuned percussion instruments. The Pianoteq program has been setup to use a 22-EDO tuning with a linear 22-key per octave keyboard map....So if midi key 60 is middle C, then 60 + 22 >> midi key 82 is the C above middle C, and so on.

In this case I tried to setup and perform on the software in a way that would produce music in 3 parts which could be followed by an athletic ear as both three independent lines and as a coherent whole. The four pieces here represent the best interactive machine-human performances that I can achieve with the software as currently designed. Since the machine is not aware or responsible, I remain responsible for the results, however, I try to perform with a light hand, there is very little intervention going on my part here beyond calling up various preselected settings...This is somewhat similar to telling a trained animal to perform a trick. There is reliability and predictability, and their inverse. There was no editing done in making these recordings, they are records of a live interactive machine-human performance.

All of the works here share some "composed" elements. They each have "scores", or "databases", that the program uses as a source of melodic and harmonic ideas. Though the databases or scores for each piece are related in terms of their content, which the acute listener should be able to hear clearly, they are not identical, each piece's database is an extension or variation of the one used by the piece that precedes it.

There is both tonal content and purely sequential content being shaped throughout these pieces. Tonally, there are strong elements of decatonic, or 10-note scale organization, which are made more specific in each succeeding piece. Sequentially, there are numerous strong lines both ascending and descending by small, quarter tone and semitone intervals. The interplay of these "hyper-chromatic" horizontal lines, with the arpeggiated tonal elements of the decatonic scale, create a tension which informs the 3-part dialog taking place.


released September 7, 2015

Photography Copyright Linda Hungerford, 2015.



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joel taylor Quito, Ecuador

Joel Taylor is a composer/improvisor/programmer who has been working with a wide variety of electronic and acoustic media since 1970. He performs on analog and digital synths, computers, keyboards, shakuhachi, other world flutes, and percussion, and has composed concert music for orchestra, gamelan, and various ensembles. ... more


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