pities a sound - algorithmic piano studies

by Asqus

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Where does the identity of a piece of music reside? Is it in the order of the notes? The cadence or rhythm? The sense or feeling it connotes? If each performance is a variation from a supposed original, how much variation can a piece undergo before it becomes something else?

In these works I have attempted, through a range of algorithmic procedures, to locate the limits of recognition of several pieces of music - some well known, some obscure - by three contemporary composers. Think of them as explorations of the threshold zones near which a composition is neither still itself nor yet something entirely other.

These piano sketches are not, strictly speaking, a collection of performances or remixes of other people's compositions; nor, however, are they my own. Their authorship is as liminal as their identity - a bringing into conversation of Glass, Messiaen and Pärt with Thue-Morse sequencing, Bjorklund sorting algorithms and constrained randomness, as well as with my own creative whims. In a few cases I have also brought the pieces into contact with each other, allowing them to rewrite each other's phase spaces and distort each other's topologies.

Finally, what is captured here is unrepeatable. These are static snapshots of constantly transforming musical spaces - compositions that vary, subtly or dramatically, every time they are played. Neither models nor copies, let's call them anagrams.

NB: The on-site previews are very low quality; you can download the high bitrate versions for free by purchasing the album for $0.


released May 13, 2016

All coding and de-/re-composition by Aragorn23, May 2016, Johannesburg.




Asqus South Africa

Aragorn23 / Asqus is an experimental musician based in South Africa. His current work focuses on algorithmic and gestural composition as well as modular synthesis.

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