Eduardo Reck Miranda

Mind Pieces

Eduardo Miranda shares with us his ideas about using a computer to work with him in composing music. He writes: “I figured out that I could program a computer to be musically creative and by recombining ideas generate musical materials for my compositions … ” Well, who’s the composer? you might ask.

It is Miranda, of course. This book is about bringing technology and intuitive musical creativity together. His major example is Mind Pieces, in his words “the first large-scale symphonic composition for which I made extensive use of computer-generated materials.” And his fascinating discussion on technology and intuition with Simon Ible, conductor of the premiere performance by the Ten Tors Orchestra, opens doors to new thoughts about music.

Miranda shows us how he used technology, giving us examples of cellular automata. One of the best-known examples is called Game of Life, created by John Conway, a known expert in recreational mathematics. Quoting Greg Wilson, “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.” It is, of course, in Miranda’s use of Game of Life that his musical intuition and creativity come through.

In his words, “Yes, computers can create music. But ultimately it depends upon how they are programed … My preference is to program them to generate raw musical ideas that I can work with. I am interested in using the computer to harness my musical creativity rather than replace it.”



Eduardo Reck Miranda, composer working at the crossroads of music and science, has composed music for symphonic orchestras, chamber groups, solo instruments with and without live electronics, and electroacoustic music. He has also composed for theatre and contemporary dance.

He studied computing, then music composition, in Brazil. He subsequently moved to the UK for my postgraduate degrees. His PhD is from the University of Edinburgh with a thesis on artificial intelligence-aided sound design. After a few years teaching computer music at the University of Glasgow, he worked as a researcher for five years at the SONY Computer Science Laboratory in Paris. In 2003, he settled in the UK to create the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research at Plymouth University, where he is currently a research professor.

His music has been featured at festivals and concerts worldwide, by renowned performers and ensembles, including Bergersen String Quartet (London), Hausmann Quartet (San Diego), Leo String Quartet (from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra), Sond’Ar-te Electric Ensemble (Portugal), Chamber Group of Scotland, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and Ten Tors Orchestra.



Fascinating! An example of how this was done.
Game of Life
Listen to the Music

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