Eduardo Miranda discusses Mind Pieces …
I figured out that I could program a computer to be musically creative and by recombining ideas generate musical materials for my compositions. But given the heartless calculations of a computer, I wondered: How can inspirations, ideas, and emotions be rendered into a musical score.
Mind Pieces had its premiere performance on February 12, 2010, at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival in Plymouth, UK. Simon Ible conducted the Ten Tors Orchestra. The symphony has five movements—Rewind, Evolve, Batuke, Automata and Rhapsodia—and three of them, the first, second, and fourth used computer-generated material.
The first movement of Mind Pieces is titled Rewind. And the first part of Rewind starts as if I were metaphorically rewinding my musical memory tape at high speed … And a bird song emerges. I had first heard the bird song many years earlier when I visited the historic Brazilian city of Ouro Preto.
But not all of Rewind is based on my memory. The opening bars and the concluding bars were composed with Chaosynth, software that I developed in the early 1990s. … I used Chaosynth to generate sequences of musical notes and incorporated them in the composition by loading the notes into a music score editor.
How did I do this? Chaosynth is based on cellular automata …
The second movement of Mind Pieces is titled Evolve. I composed this movement from a rhythmic backbone generated by A-rhyhms, software I developed in collaboration with João Martins, then one of my doctoral students at Plymouth University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR).
A-rhyhms is inspired by Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection …
Enjoy the third movement!
I composed Automata with a piece of software of my own design called CAMUS (short for Cellular Automata Music). CAMUS uses a cellular automaton known as Game of Life.
Game of Life is a two-dimensional cellular automaton created by John Conway, among other descriptions a recognized expert in recreational mathematics. As Greg Wilson wrote, in the article “The life and times of cellular automata,” published in New Scientist, October 1988, “Conway was fascinated by the way in which a combination of a few simple rules could produce patterns that would expand, change shape or die out unpredictably. He wanted to find the simplest possible set of rules that would give such an interesting behavior.”
Game of Life can be thought of as an abstract model of an environment with interacting simple life forms …
Enjoy the fifth movement!