61-Algorithms and ambient

Silencio version 5
Length: appr. 20:00
©2009 tim p scott
(click (>) to play)

Recently I’ve revisited some material generated several years ago for another ambient/soundscape sort of piece. I wrote about it a little more in the post entitled “Back to ambient”

Click on > in the player on the right and you can hear it here too (warning: whole piece is 20:00 long).

The basic raw sound material comes from some experimentation with the KOAN software, using its builtin synthesizer. Also layered over that are some free OLPC samples and field recordings, and drones from the u-he ZebraCM and Cakewalk Dimension synths.

My approach to non-tonal music ended up being more arbitrary: I might start with some algorithmic process, but I have no compunctions about using any techniques I feel like in order to make the piece sound like I think it should. I can appreciate composers who want to get outside their own technique and style, and I probably should make more of an effort to do that. But for now, if it sounds good to me, then I think it’s good. Without an audience, sponsor, patron or critics, I don’t really have anything else to go by.

Digging into the vaults…

One of the very first things I did on a computer from 1994 or so is called “Blorfing thru space”. I’m not sure it appeared on any CD, but I rearranged, mixed and mastered it in 2009.

Blorfing thru space revisited
Length: 4:06
©1995, 2009 tim p scott
(click (>) to play)

On another front, I’ve revisited HG Fortune’s site and he’s been industriously creating new amazing algorithmic/soundscape generating VSTis. You can see some neat videos he’s created, using those VSTs for the soundtracks, at


Composing Music with Computers by Eduardo Reck Miranda (2001)

It turns out our city’s public library has a copy of this. Good thing too, as it’s one of those USD60 books. If you’re at all interested in the subject, see if you can borrow a copy. It comes with a CD with a bunch of cool applications on it to experiment with algorithmic composition; unfortunately I couldn’t get many of them to run on my Windows 7 machine. I wish some of the contributors had been willing to include source code with there applications.

Page#61 / last updated 20100305