[WTF Review] Alphacore - Experimental Sounds - Algorithmic Composition - Text to Music

Artist: Alphacore
WTF website: Experimental Sounds - Algorithmic Composition - Text to Music
Tags: digital, fractal, aleatoric, text based, programming, noise, ambient, algorithmic, electronic
WTF Quality: "Musician and Programmer of Text to Music and new forms of experimental music that uses everyday written text and computer generated software to create New Experimental Sounds Compositions.. "
Lifespan: 2008 -
Country: Seattle, USA
Links: http://compositions-of-alphacore.blogspot.com/


It is thus possible to make a musical composition the continuity
of which is free of individual taste and memory (psychology)
and also of the literature and ‘traditions’ of the art.

- John Cage

One such method is the use of data processed through digital software. Data can come from any source - images, numerical charts, fractals, equations, or text.

Gabriel G., also known as Alphacore, has created a blog which is full of detailed descriptions of how one can convert any of the above mentioned forms of data into sound, along with plenty of audio, visual, and technical examples.

Using the chart below and looking @ the above example you can see easily how you can convert any word, sentence, books into a musical composition . Here is its theory in its simplest form text2midi is a concept core meaning that there that there is a exact sciences and form to the converting of text into midi. There are thousands to millions of compositions that can be created & reproduced using the Theory.

- from Alphacore's blog

All digital information, fundamentally binary and numerical, transferable from one form to another, is open to the imagination as a source for creativity. The process of the transformation is as limitless as the available data, and a huge part of this creative process deals not with making sound itself but devising methods for how to code the data. It is like building an instrument, which can be a complex and laborious task.

Some more quotes and images from Alphacore's blog will give you an idea of these processes, although this is like a thin crust of a surface to what I assume must be a pretty thickly layered cake. Here is some of what Alphacore cooks up:


def sample_chance_composition_designer
puts "You rolled a #{ dice_roll }"

dice_roll.times do
puts "The sample to be added is the #{rand(42)+1} down"



Of course Alphacore releases his music on the net (download links at the bottom of the page) and the result of these fractal / text / image / digital processings is of course somewhat chaotic and unusual in its form. A common complaint about such music is that it is cold. This is true, the sound lacks human expression, and it does not express emotions familiar to our normal life experience. This is experimental music, testing grounds of possibilities in the binary kingdom. I must confess my personal distaste for many MIDI instrument sounds, having worked with them like crazy when I was a student and always getting the feeling that my music would sound so much better played by humans. But while a MIDI cello sounds fake and cheap to my ears, the realm of digital sound synthesis through MIDI can produce very unique and interesting sounds. The track "Sin Vs. Cos" (uploaded on wtfm) is not "played" using basic MIDI instruments but to my ears must have been generated from processing pure wave forms. I don't know all of the details for the compositional process of this piece but I would say it sounds more "organic" than other text and graphic based music.

However using such terms should be de-emphasized when listening to this music. Understanding the processes and seeing the coding and data is as much a part of the experience as the sound. The lack of human expression in the sound itself is somehow balanced in the conceptual experience of the total art. Such expression is and never was a necessary element to music anyway, it just seems to be what a lot of people want to hear. Leave things to chance, let sounds be sounds, and appreciate them for what they are, without critiquing and comparing them to notions of what music is supposed to be. I feel this philosophy behind Alphacore's works.

I think that these are just a few ways people can start exploring a whole new world of creating experimental sounds and Algorithmic Compositions

I have often wondered how one could convert fractals into sound convincingly to the point where one could recognize a piece of sound as a fractal as opposed to one that was randomly generated. The problem of converting images into sound of course is the aspect of dimension, the x and y of 2D space and the waveform / time axis of sound. I have heard other artists' interpretations of fractals in music, as free jazz, traditional notated compositions, and other algorithmic methods. Ultimately these interpretations are only that, with the fractals exhibiting themselves as an inspiration only. And what about the text?
this is a experiment into the world of text_2_midi using diffrent haiku for each channels ...

Of course the text becomes a garbled and incoherent splattering of sounds which we could only understand as words if our brains had the processing power of an ultra super computer, so what is the meaning behind using text to make sound? Also one can use equations:
This is a projected based on Wolfram Equations to generate compositional Music
And relied on http://tones.wolfram.com/generate/advanced.html?generator for the basic
generation of the compositions generating several different short compositions ranging
between 15 to 20 seconds they were then mixed together in a live environment..

Interestingly, the music here is mixed into a heavy electronic beat sound. The whole concept of the equations is then receded far into the background; the listener would never pick up on it, and only hear some experimental kind of dance music.

My answer to these questions is that it doesn't matter if the original piece of data is lost in translation. These are explorations into new ways of creating sound integrated with the digital environment which is more and more becoming a part of our lives. I can imagine that years down the line the methods of this practice will become increasingly evolved, to the point where who knows what to expect.


A final note: this review encompasses the multimedia works of a net based artist, and as the medium of output changes, so does our concept of how we experience music, how it is framed, how it fits into our lives, etc. Go to the site and check out the art - there is much more to see and hear.

music downloads:
http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/36987 - Define Haiku n1 ( Single )
http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/30495 - Text for 3 Wheels
http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/47707 - Entangled Jazz Strings
http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/47415 - Wolfram Experiment
http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/32560 - Improv_?_n - Jamendo

the site:

- Jeemobon