October 15, 2013 § Leave a comment
It’s Ada Lovelace day.
Here’s her table-format code for Babbage’s Difference engine:
“Again, [the Analytical Engine] might act upon other things besides number, were objects found whose mutual fundamental relations could be expressed by those of the abstract science of operations, and which should be also susceptible of adaptations to the action of the operating notation and mechanism of the engine . . . Supposing, for instance, that the fundamental relations of pitched sounds in the science of harmony and of musical composition were susceptible of such expression and adaptations, the engine might compose elaborate and scientific pieces of music of any degree of complexity or extent.” — Ada Lovelace
Read her original essay on the difference engine here.
May 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
on (among other things) failure & experiment, in Vague Terrain:
“I consider it axiomatic that, for any art work to be considered experimental, the possibility of failure must be built into its process. I am not referring to the aestheticized, satisfying glitches and crackles valorized by Kim Cascone, but to the lack of satisfaction produced by a misguided or misstepped procedure in the experiment, whether colossal or banal. These are not errors to be sought out, sampled and celebrated, but the flat-on-your-ass gaffs and embarrassments that would trouble the sleep of all but the most Zen of musicians or composers.
The presence of failure in a musical system represents feedback in the negative, a tipping point into anti-climax, irrelevance, the commonplace, the cliche or even unintended silence. Many artists try to factor out true, catastrophic failure by scripting, scoring, sequencing or programming their work into as many predictable, risk-free quanta as possible ahead of time. (Spacebar, please.) But this unwelcome presence also guarantees the vitality of that hotly-contested territory – the live electronic music performance.”
See also Derek Holtzer’s site.
April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment