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ELSE: An Artistic Study on Algorithmic Agency in Sound Synthesis Composition

Authors Pozzi, D.
Year 2018
Thesis Type Computer Music project
Topic Algorithmic Composition
Abstract This article presents the development of a SuperCollider patch as a case study of the influence of algorithmic processes and algorithmic thinking in computer music practice. The crucial stages involved in the experimental design of a sound synthesis algorithm are analysed from a critical perspective that aims at exploring the multifaceted dynamics underpinning the relationship between artist and algorithmic process. In doing this, I’ll try to highlight the different agencies that contribute to shape the creative process of composing music with computers. It is suggested that the process of constant reconfiguration, intended as the iterative adaptation that takes place between an artist and the algorithms employed, has a major generative role in algorithmic practice. We may identify this generative element as one specific expression of the agency of the algorithmic. The case study is based on a retrospective documentation of Else, a generative algorithm conceived and realised in SuperCollider.
Supervisors Pirrò, D.