Fragments of a Bohlen-Pierce Composition (Pt 9)

The program notes and biographies for the for the Bohlen-Pierce Symposium are now posted; Here’s mine.

I’m currently blocking out the structure of the piece, and would like to take a moment to discuss what’s bouncing around the confines of my skull. From the program notes:

“This direction emulates the way in which a hacker approaches the challenge of dissecting a piece of software or electronic device.”


“There’s always a rhythm to the space between things. Pause, hold the thought, check the moment. Repeat. Wait. There it goes again. Another thought, another pause in the stream of conscious in another abstraction–the reader, the listener. Speak these words out loud, and the same logic applies–there’s always a rhythm to the space between things.” – Paul D. Miller (aka DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid), Sound Unbound

I believe there is a rhythm to computer code. The way it reads, the way the computer reads it, the way logical expressions are grouped, how it functions as a whole, how data is pumped in one side, translated, and then poured out the other side, etc.

Since I’ve adopted a hacker-like approach to the Bohlen-Pierce scale, I felt compelled to translate elements of coding into aspects of the composition. Each line of code is a statement. A grouping of related code is a statement. Each feeds off and into other statements. And there is a rhythm to be found in between all of them.

The title Fragments also implies multiple things. I have a collection of various musical statements and processes. I’m trying to figure out how to hack these individual ideas into single functioning work. I want the listener to be able to hear each fragment individually, while hearing them together as a functioning unit. This idea is a lot like code. Any single function or subroutine can be analyzed individually, ignorant of everything else. Though this same subroutine is still part of a larger functioning unit, the program. Am I making any sense?

What this all boils down to is that I want the piece to be perceived as discrete, yet having a natural flowing rhythm to it. This is what I’m trying to achieve. I’m now trying to establish that rhythm. I’m about half way through. And when I’m done, that’s when real fun starts.

Download: fragments_9.csd

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