The title, Winter Reflections, comes from music I composed in late December of 1998. That music was originally for a video piece I was doing based on young children playing, running, and dancing in twirls on a perfect summer day. So, there I was at the beginning of winter reflecting on the sweetness of youth and composing music as an expression of that reflection. Hence the title. But as so often happens with the work of composers who take a modular approach, that music has found a number of different dancing partners including this video work.
The imagery was composed with ArtMatic, software that gives the user access to dynamical system algorithms represented in the user interface as a set of selectable flowcharts composed of selectable mathematical functions. The software is beautifully designed to encourage the user to experiment with complex dynamical systems at multiple levels (structures, functions, and parameters) and gives one almost instant visual feedback on what happens when the algorithms are modified, the functions are rearranged, and/or parameters are tweaked. Whenever I work with any piece of hardware or software (including ArtMatic) what I do is to seek out its quirks, odd turns, cracks, anomalies, and other oddities and then play with those to make my pieces thereby avoiding (hopefully) the cliches inherent in the voice of art product. The fact is that when I work with generative software (ArtMatic belongs to that class) I tend to actually incorporate far less than most folks who work in the electronic arts. Being in the field since 1967 and always being a serious student of the "voice" of individual art products certainly have a lot to do with my tendency to avoid dwelling on the surface of the generative process. Use this link to give ArtMatic a closer look.
Image set from Winter Reflections excerpt:
My interest in complex systems design stems from my early explorations of analog music synthesizers beginning in 1967. Thinking in terms of modular functions in all manner of configurations became second nature to me very quickly and since the late 1960s complex systems design has informed all my compositional work in the electronic arts of sound and light. Under the umbrella of Compositional Thinking I describe a good number of my pieces based on those design principles. Links for additional downloadable excerpts are also found there.
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