Cathedral Composer (alla Debussy)


As Whole-Play develops, it's getting closer to composing time, that is, to create specific composers to improvise with. There are two problems though:

  1. The system is not quite ready yet, which means there are many limitations (at least comparing to what I imagine is possible), and that can be a bit frustrating/conditioning at times.
  2. A full-fleged composer is a complex thing, and I still don't know how to approach that. I have some ideas, but a bit vague still, and in need of some prototyping and testing.

To address these two issues I've decided to create a few 'small' composers, what I call Proto-Composers, each focusing on a few aspects only, and exploring what's available and what's missing in the system, and how well or not it works with the improvisation. I just finished my first one, loosely based on Debussy's La cathédrale engloutie. It adds a piano part to the guitar improvisation, here's a recording of the result.

Cathedral Composer4.42 MB

The first Proto-Composer, loosely based on Debussy's La cathédrale engloutie.

Some of the things this composer explores are:

  • Using the sustain pedal in the piano.
  • Responding to the improviser intensity (a measure of the number of notes and their loudness). The piano adjusts its volume according to how intensity changes, in a slightly 'elastic' way (closely following the improviser).
  • Generating chords, adapting to harmony (0:23-2:18).
  • Generating harmonizations, also adapting to harmony (2:29-2:59).
  • Responding to the improviser harmonic changes. This I had explored a bit in previous tests, but it was always very loose. In this Composer I try to have faster, more accurate, and more meaningful transitions (i.e. the chord changes in 0:50, 0:57, 1:17, 1:40...).
  • Creating constrasting sections, and transitioning from one to another. This is one of the things I was refering to in #2 above, I'm sure these explorations will bring some interesting ideas about that.

(times might be a bit different in your browser's player).


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