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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Solos (Dice Game) and Conductor (Neural Network)

  • Author(s): Marquetti, Andre
  • Advisor(s): Carson, Ben Leeds
  • et al.

Solos (Dice Game) and Conductor (Neural Network) combines a multilayered environment made of solo pieces, ensemble music, and a digital network. A series of short interludes separate each solo and the Main Section of the composition. The Main Section re-unifies the instruments’ solos by granting the performer the opportunity to improvise over a repeated vamp. Unique audio synthesis methods identify each solo instrument. The solo morphology for the clarinet is an open-notated piece derived from alternations between pitch-bend-, multiphonic-, and microtone- structures that includes real-time audio synthesis. The saxophone and violin solos make similar use of real-time audio synthesis with structures emerging from a dice-based compositional method. The process of selection for the musical material, and the game strategies used to generate their forms, consists of an algorithm combining randomness and choice.

The neural network that returns as output the identity of the input also generates “noise” internally; patterns of noise then converge toward the key pattern, and become a resource from which many audio synthesis attributes can be derived, like a mirror reflecting an object from a different perspective. In the digital network I developed an algorithm to parse pitch information from live audio MIDI pitch detection. At the core, I adapted a neural network to perform analysis on the pitch-class input vector. The neural network is a solution-based evolutionary algorithm that simulates brain neural activity. In the saxophone solo particularly, I formulate a method to converge the dice game probabilities with the neural network activity. The digital score consists of selecting a pitch-class set for parsing pitch with the neural network key pattern. A key pattern requires a sample input pitch-class vector and a sample output to match the input. In performance, the music emerges from the particular choices of key pattern for solo compositions and solo improvisations in the Main Section.

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