ï~~Proportional Recursive Stochastic Composition Using COMP2, a Smalltalk-80 Composition Program Within the Kyma Digital Synthesis System Brian Belet Assistant Professor of Music Department of Visual and Performing Arts Clark University 950 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts 01610-1477, USA e-mail: bbelet@vax.clarku.edu Abstract COMP2 is a proportionally governed recursive stochastic composition program written by the composer in 1991 using the Smalltalk-80 programming language within the Kyma digital synthesis system. COMP2 is designed to compose music in which all aspects of the composition are unified aesthetically and procedurally. This is accomplished through the use of a composer-defined set of initial values which directly or indirectly determine all of the required variable values through recursive stochastic procedures. Like its 1985 Fortran predecessor COMP1, COMP2 uses twelve ratios as its generating "Ur set". These ratios correspond to twelve primary interval ratios (or proportions) of Just Intonation, and are used here as an aesthetic dedication to Ben Johnston (although any number of composer-defined values can be used). Two compositions were generated with COMP1, and to date one new work is currently being refined with COMP2 (for flute and Kyma system, with early 1992 performances scheduled). The resulting proportional recursive stochastic compositions utilize pseudo-curved aural space in several parameters to insure that parameter boundaries are neither exceeded nor actually reached. Not specifically microtonal, these works are micro-x-al, where "x" represents every parameter and every relationship in the work. COMP2, operating on the Kyma system, permits real-time software synthesis in an intuitive, composer-friendly, yet extremely powerful desktop environment, which is a significant improvement over COMP1. Introduction It has been and remains this composer's interest to aesthetically and procedurally unify the diverse aspects of human compositional and computer processes within a given musical work. A series of related compositions have been generated using algorithmic programming and software synthesis to explore the possibilities of creating resultant unified compositional complexity from initial aesthetic simplicity ("simplicity" is used here as "elegance"). This relates conceptually to the various explorations and experiments in astrophysics that seek to discover one or more Grand Unification Theories [GUTs] that will ICMC 513
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