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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
Algortihmic compostional drivel
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Acoustic Interloper



Joined: Jul 07, 2007
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Location: Berks County, PA
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:38 am    Post subject: Algortihmic compostional drivel
Subject description: The reports of the death of human composition are are greatly exaggerated.
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I found this BBC article on Music Evolution: is it the end of the composer? annoying enough that I felt compelled to post both on FB and here.

My response on FB
Quote:

Here's a load of crap that's trending. ""You can evolve music without a composer," he explains. "It's just a matter of market forces. It tells us that market forces - consumer choice - is itself a creative force, one that is actually much more important than we appreciate." Everything is a market force amenable to data mining. Except that it's not. I saw this kind of thinking when I interviewed at Google Labs a few years ago, where the hiring practices were seemingly driven by collective hive mentality that was substantially different from the Bell Labs practice of seeding in a healthy collection of smart misfits. Collectives breed away outliers, including the creative ones. This mentality goes hand-in-hand with the perspective that human cognition == emergent classical computation, but there is increasing formal evidence that quantum mechanisms play roles in cognition. If so, then classical machines will always bound themselves in ways that humans needn't.

When the semester is over I plan to write an article for the electro-music wiki about this business. I see this mentality at academic algorithmic composition etc. conferences, i.e., let's see how far we can get humans out of the loop. I guess it's experimentally interesting, but I have more than a strong suspicion that it's ultimately a dead end. I'm all for highly dimensional tools that help humans compose and improvise, but this notion that human cognition == classical statistical computation is, in my opinion, myopic crap.

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Antimon



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This particular article didn't really say anything new - genetic algorithms have been around for a long time and of course you can make something interesting happen if you make people endure hours of mindless sound and select bits from it.

I do think you're overreacting a bit though. I for one think this stuff is interesting. Looking forward to the wiki article!

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elmegil



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You can move the people in the process out one remove, but you can't remove them entirely. Unless there's a human there to judge what's "fit" for the genetic (or whatever) algorithm, then you won't get much of interest out of the system. Even if you were to use "the market" as the means of that judgement, you still have people in the process, although I'd argue that the average of many tastes so provided tends to be much more watered down and useless.

I can't remember the source for this quote, but I think it applies:

What is entirely predictable is boring. What is entirely unpredictable is chaos. In between lies Art.
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Acoustic Interloper



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Posts: 1634
Location: Berks County, PA
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:

I do think you're overreacting a bit though. I for one think this stuff is interesting. Looking forward to the wiki article!

I agree that statistical approaches are interesting. Scrabble-to-MIDI, for example, is statistical, but I find it useful as a musical instrument for novices in large part because the probabilistic distribution of letters go through the projections of human players in forming lexical structures and thence music.

The part that I find annoying, really, is that part that tends towards a "let the computers make the music, period." There is a trend in academic research towards autonomous algorithmic composition that I think is a dead end. I like a good generative machine, but I like it in my or someone's hands. I always tell my students to "own the computers, make them yours."

But, after all, I am an electro-banjo picker, and thus happily a misfit wherever I go.

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L´Andratté



Joined: Sep 23, 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Electro-banjo? Horrible!!!
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It is said that art lies in the eye of the beholder?
There are not yet machines for listening to music!
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