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News: THE SEARCH FOR ATLANTIS IN CUBA
A Report by Andrew Collins
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Real-time Beethoven

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Bianca
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« on: March 06, 2009, 07:27:14 pm »









Infinite variations



Unfortunately for old Ludwig himself, this musical vision comes 200 years too late. But we can still play with Beethoven’s works. And today's composers have been given a completely new instrument: a computer program for the processing of sound, where the actual act of composing is an integral part of the instrument itself. And where the composition takes place simultaneously with a performance, in real time - live, as it is called in music-speak.

This new invention is a tool for both improvisation and variation, a computer program and a musical instrument all rolled up into one. Call it a computer instrument. Its developer is just 36 years old; his name is Øyvind Brandtsegg, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

Brandtsegg is a composer, a musician and computer programmer. The instrument is his PhD research.

We’re talking about a new type of sound generator, a particle synthesizer. It takes a stanza – a guitar riff, a verse line, a drum solo, or any recorded sound – and splits the sound into a number of very short sound particles that can last for between 1 and 10 milliseconds.

These fragments may be infinitely reshuffled, making it possible to vary the music with no change in the fundamental theme.

“It’s easy to change a bit of music into something that can’t be recognized. It’s the opposite that is the challenge: to create variations in which the musical theme remains clear,” says Brandtsegg.
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