Alexandre Prokoudine writes:
I don't see it. Surely, if he had wanted to make that point, he could have
said it plainly?
I'm interested in music that seems like it's repeating but doesn't actually
repeat loops exactly. Even when I was using DAWs, I was doing that
(painfully). In SC, instead of tweaking MIDI notes and rhythms by hand, I can
develop constraints that generate notes and rhythms that always vary, but
maintain some sense of coherence. Like, the other night I was fixing some
mistakes in a chord player that:
- Chooses 16th-note time points within the bar, according to some rules that
make it less likely to have chords in successive 16ths;
- Chooses the top note of the chord mainly by stepwise motion;
- Weights the remaining scale degrees to have a higher probability of choosing
the third and fifth above the current bass note, medium probability of the
seventh and ninth, and lower probability of the fourth and sixth (since these
can change the chord function).
The resulting chords actually do sound like they fit in the harmonic context,
and it can keep going like that, without ever looping. That's one way that SC
is the best tool for me to make the kinds of evolving processes I like to
The point being that this sort of geekery a/ comes directly from a musical
impulse (I can hear if the implementation isn't doing what I heard in my head)
and b/ is grounded in a musical understanding of harmony (in fact, it models
part of my thought process when I'm writing harmony by hand). But never mind
that -- if I were writing dots on paper and debating whether to use
interlocking woodwind voicing or not, THAT sort of geekery would be perfectly
musical, but the fact that this particular music geekery is in SC means that
it's... what was the phrase? "Autistic savant computer genius" territory.
I don't know Bitwig, so I have no basis to evaluate Robin's assertion that
it's a "toy." If he had said DAWs are toys compared to SC, I'd call that
idiotic -- but he said that of only one DAW which is relatively new and may
not be full-featured yet. I understand the wish to evangelize on behalf of
under-appreciated software (you should see me rub LilyPond in Finale users'
noses), but I would not claim SC to be inherently better than other electronic
music workflows (e.g. DAWs).
But to claim, as Gordon did, that there is not even one single musical impulse
for which a domain-specific programming language is an appropriate tool?
Just... wow, seriously?
Oh! I just remembered, it's April 1. Silly me, Gordon must have been joking!
Carry on, then.
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