Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Curtis Roads on Granular Synthesis

Curtis Roads is a pioneer in the development of granular synthesis (1974). His collection of electronic music compositions POINT LINE CLOUD won the Award of Distinction at the 2002 Ars Electronica in Linz and was released as a CD + DVD on the Asphodel label in 2005.

Excerpt from "Point Line Cloud" by Curtis Roads

His book, Microsound (2002, The MIT Press) presents the techniques and aesthetics of composition with sound particles.
Roads's new book is Composing Electronic Music (forthcoming) Oxford University Press. A new revised edition of The Computer Music Tutorial by The MIT Press is also forthcoming.

'Beneath the level of the note lies the realm of sound particles. Each particle is a pinpoint of sound. Recent advances let us probe and manipulate this microacoustical world. Sound particles dissolve the rigid bricks of musical composition-the notes and their intervals-into more fluid and supple materials. The sensations of point, pulse (series of points), line (tone), and surface (texture) emerge as the density of particles increases. Sparse emissions produce rhythmic figures. By lining up the particles in rapid succession, one can induce an illusion of tone continuity or pitch. As the particles meander, they flow into liquid-like streams and rivulets. Dense agglomerations of particles form clouds of sound whose shapes evolve over time.' - Curtis Roads

Part 1: The Breakdown

Part 2: Getting Granular

Part 3: Build It Up

[via delllounge.com]

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