In this project, I will explore the programing language of Pure Data to create an electroacoustic composition. Developed by Miller S. Puckette, Pure Data is an open source, dataflow, programming language similar to Max/MSP that involves connecting functional objects in a series of time-based processes.
My composition will pay careful attention to the formal techniques used by twentieth-century composers such as Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, Steve Reich, and those involved in the Musique Concrete and Electronische Musik movements. Formal electroacoustic music is concerned foremost with layering sounds of different “classes” into the foreground, middle ground, and background to create different aural textures. The form is based in large part on this layering rather than traditional rules of melody, harmony, meter, and rhythm. Electroacoustic music can also manipulate live samples, creating an “interactive” element to the composition.
Minding this tradition of electroacoustic music, I will use Pure Data to generate electronic sounds and manipulate recorded sound files and live samples to create an original, interactive, electroacoustic composition.
Stephen Smith, ’15
Sponsor: Zachariah Zubow