on the computer realization
by Larry Polansky)
Dear.John was intended as an installation: giving anyone the option of starting the piece by pushing a button. Each time the piece is started a new version is generated. The piece was premiered in December 1986 by WDR for Cage’s birthday in a recorded version. Because the computer was not easily moved to Europe, the original "installation" was not realized as intended for the birthday celebration. Six different recordings were made, however, and performed alternately.
version was written in 2003 by Masaki Kubo, in Max/MSP, with
consultation from Pauline Oliveros and Larry Polansky, at
the Dartmouth College Bregman Electro-Acoustic Music Studio.
It is a reasonably direct "translation" of the original code
and ideas. In 2011, John Bischoff updated this version to a
more recent version of Max/MSP.
pages of the original Forth/HMSL code.
Loudnesses for a given cycle for a given voice interpolate from the starting loudness to the ending loudness over the duration of the cycle.
Durations are picked randomly from a fixed table of simple divisions, and once a voice picks a duration, that duration is retained for the entire cycle.
Each voice is assigned to its own MIDI channel. In the original, each MIDI channel has a single MIDI program (chosen by the composer). The new version allows for some flexibility in terms of MIDI channel and MIDI program (as well as some other new controls).
Each cycle has a fixed length (in the original, about 40 seconds, in the new version, variable by the user). There there are eight cycles in the piece.
The new Max/MSP version, written by Masaki Kubo, has its own documentation.
John Bischoff (December, 2011).