19. Hot House

It has been an exciting weekend. I moved my self and belongings into this tiny wooden-box-conservatory-come-shed at the end of the garden. The life here makes the one in the house look obscene in its complexity and wastefulness. I have a two small rooms, one piled with junk such that only a passage way between doors remains. The other has glass on two sides and its walls and ceiling are paper thin. It noisily feels the wind and retains heat like a corpse. Having said that, in the day – or at least in today’s block blue sky and fierce sun – it is disrobingly hot. Despite all this, I am pleasantly surprised to find myself happy and comfortable, its almost as though materiality is not connected to wellbeing…

The visitors arrived late last night, long after my frantic removal, and have inspired in me a shameful depth of curiosity. Every time their door opens it demands a herculean effort for me to keep my eyes focused on my work.

I have finally found some conceptual interest in my work. I have been thinking about random music generation. The initial idea was to build a device which would randomly generate electronic dance music, slowing progressing through all its sub-genres by giving random number generators specific rules. The rules themselves would be based upon defining aspects of each sub-genre, for example tempo between 160 and 190 bpm for drum n bass, etc. etc.. The concept is to prove the limiting nature of genre classification and to demonstrate how vast reams of work are shamelessly tied to these limitations.

This has proven to be a monumental task. Here are my very first attempts at random music, an area no doubt much better trod than these first tentative steps achieve. It essentially just generates random melody based on a few possible mechanisms for it to (randomly) choose from, such things as, arpeggiating, melodic runs, trilling etc.. It applies rhythm according to a constant pulse whose interval fluctuates between 50ms and 1s. It slowly manipulates various textural aspects of the synth. It is not altogether a very satisfactory result, sounding rather like the idiotic twiddlings of an engrossed synth-showman straight out of a electro-shocked 80’s (sweet pun). But here it is anyway:

Showman (excerpt) right click and ‘save as’

Must dash.


8 Responses to “19. Hot House”

  1. Mum Says:

    this sounds like Bach badly adapted for a horror movie! Interesting but I think you have a way to go to reach your goal of showing the limitations of genre classification. It’s a really interesting idea tho.
    I have been worrying about you being cold and not having a loo!

  2. John Dunne Says:

    Yassin I’m genuinely stunned by the amount of work you are producing and the exceptional quality. I’ve been catching up and listening with an increasing amazment at your abilities and the sheer fun and creativity that is emerging in the music, never mind the song lyrics etc.
    There is a perfading atmosphere that I see as very warm and heart based which with the electronic sounds creates a sweetness mixed with a sense of loss.
    I will try and be more insightlful in my next contribution.

  3. Jez Says:

    this is one of my favorites.
    i’m imagining that you made up the whole random-generation-genre-program thing after spending all day synth jamming in an electronic fever, wild-eyed staring out to sea from your shed, hallucinating from the heat, convinced you were making contact with the cosmos.
    later you sobered up and realised you couldnt make a post about that.

  4. Zaynab Says:

    if we put two posts together this track sounds like a fevered bach, hallucinating, at the hands of a synthesiser.

    cant say its my favourite but the idea is interesting. i look forward to the next result of your random music generator.

    and also, youre being compared to Bach so youve obviously got something right. (the arpeggios haha).

  5. Richard Says:

    this tune would be good in a film. Kafka. Yes a film. Let’s say Metamorphosis.
    Keep on pushing.

    You’re so beat,
    you dharma bum

    R x

  6. Jo Says:

    This is very interesting, i gave Yas a copy of Metamorphosis to take in with him. I can completely imagine the scene.

  7. Tas Says:

    I agree with Mum about Bach for a horror movie. Sort of Andrew Lloyd Webber-ish too. Trying to think of a good name now. Rocky Shop of Cats? Sonata in Scream Major?

  8. Guy Lochhead Says:

    I think Jez has revealed the truth behind this song.
    Thanks Jez.
    (Yas, you sicko)

    It’s a pretty epic noise to make randomly-generated music with. Better than bloopy trautonium stuff or Eno-y washes or whatever. I like it! Gives more meat to it than if it were just experimentation.

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