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Hyperscores: An exploration of generative & interactive musical notation

The basis for the kind of work that I describe as 'hyperscores' lies in different disciplines from experimental music and visual art from the previous century—namely: open form scores, graphic notation, animated scores, visual music, interactive scores, and generative music.

The research will partially involve an overview of influential works in this field. Another aspect of the research will be focused on a more technical and pragmatic level; looking at different ways in which sensory input can be used to affect the generation of the score—either how the algorithm 'listens' (or whichever type of sense or sensor is being used), or how the musicians can interact with the score, and what medium can be used to present the score. On the generative level, recent developments in AI afford more possibilities in using learning algorithms to create emergent compositional strategies.

The results of the project will involve a written paper, a series of my own hyperscore works that could be performed in an installation concert and a work group formed by students from the KC, who will create and perform their own works. For the latter part, I will revive an ensemble that I used to run in the KC called KHZ—the analogue electronic studio ensemble—where we have previously explored the use of 'media scores' as a way of describing the performance of electronic instruments that could not be notated in a conventional score. The ensemble would meet weekly as an elective or a project and would result in the presentation of works in various stages of the academic year, in the Spring Festival, in Rewire, or in a KC lab concert. The ensemble could also expand to include non-electronic musicians and musicians interested in open-score and improvisation for the final presentation of pieces.

The goal of this project would essentially be to establish and develop a practice, both for creators and musicians, that involves thinking about composition, score, or notation beyond a fixed medium, but as something modular, adaptive, and mutable that makes use of current technologies, and that can also reshape the hierarchies that exist in traditional music performance.