Metrics and Morphological Mutation Functions
is this page about?
metrics and mutation functions are
an on-going interest of mine for the past 25 years. The metrics compute
distances between morphologies. The mutations generate new morphologies
some distance away from another.
There's been a lot of
work done in this area by me,
students, friends, colleagues, etc. This page doesn't try to summarize
all of it (or keep up with what people are doing). Just a few
to get started.
The first talk I gave
on these was in 1980
Metrics"), which began the Mills Seminar in Formal Methods series. In
way, these notions have been related to much of what I've done over
past twenty-five years, but this page focusses on
articles, pieces, references.
with questions if you like...
about the functions
Research, 25(4):289?368, Swets & Zeitlinger Publishers, The
[the long article] (email me for copies)
- 1992 "Possible
and Impossible Melody: Some
of Contour," with Richard Bassein, Journal
of Music Theory, 36(2): 259 - 284.
[focused theoretical description of contour, foundational to the
"Morphological Metrics: An Introduction to
of Formal Distances," Proceedings of
the ICMC, Urbana, pp. 197-205. [a
Mutation in Soundhack," with Tom Erbe. 20th Anniversary Issue of
the Computer Music Journal.
20:1, pp. 92-101. Earlier version published in
Proceedings of the 5th Biennial Conference on Arts and Technology,
College, pp. 122-138. Short version published in the Proceedings of the
International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Banff, pp.
- "More on Morphological
and Developments," Proceedings of the ICMC, San Jose, pp. 57-60.
- 1991 "Morphological Mutation
Applications to Motivic
Transformation and a New Class of Cross-Synthesis Techniques," with
McKinney, Proceedings of the ICMC,
Montreal, pp. 234-241.
published descriptions of pieces
using these ideas
- 1996, Bedhaya
Sadra/Bedhaya Guthrie, computer-composed score
for voices, gamelan, and instruments, Perspectives
of New Music, 34(1):28-55.
- 1996, No
Replacement (85 Verses for Kenneth Gaburo), computer-written
poem and accompanying theoretical notes, Perspectives of New Music,
- 1994 "Live Interactive Computer
Music in HMSL,
with Nick Didkovsky, Computer Music
Journal, 18(2): 59-77.
- 1991"Live Interactive Intelligent
Notes on Pieces 1984-91," with Nick Didkovsky, Proceedings of the ICMC,
Montreal, pp. 37-44.
Musics I-VI, works for
live interactive computer music systems in Perspectives of New Music,
a good description of HMSL
what kind of
been implemented (by tom erbe and I) in tom's soundhack. This has been
available for some time, and the software has been very
huge amount of
general and robust libraries, etc., implementing the stuff in the
on mutations and metrics, existed in HMSL
(mainly what I've used to compose with). HMSL is written by Phil Burk,
me and David Rosenboom.
thesis at Dartmouth, Chris Langmead in his PAST, a number of others)
written software using these ideas in the spectral domain. check the dartmouth
m.a program website for links.
Argeïphontes Lyre program is a great piece of work that
the mutation functions in the time domain
functions, with some nifty additions and new ideas, in MSP, in a
package called litter.
The MSP object [lp.tim~] does time interval mutations and [lp.frim~]
does spectral mutations. There's also [lp.vim] that works at the Max
in for this kind of stuff now is Nick
Didkovsky and Phil Burk's JMSL, which is a wonderful implementation
of HMSL's philosophies in a very hip JAVA environment.
of nick, check out
contour applet, lots of fun
of my ex- dartmouth
kimo johnson, did some very interesting new theoretical and software
work with contour theory, and morphing in contour space.
number of these pieces (51 Melodies,
Bedhaya..., Casten Variation, 3rd Anna study,
etc.) are on my CD called Change
from Artifact CDs, which is available from Frog
A short list of some of
pieces that use the mutations and metrics very directly is:
[most of my scores are available
through frog peak music (a composers'
collective), but many scores and recordings are on this website as well]
- V'Leem'Shol (...and to rule...)
(Cantillation Study #2). Five flutes (with optional alto flute
"trope"). Second set of 17 verses of Torah, part of set of Cantillation
Studies. For Ann LaBerge and David Rosenboom, composed using FORTH/HMSL
compositional algorithms. Premiered by Ann LaBerge, Center for 21st
Music Concert, Mills College, March, 1985; revised version, 1987, in
just intonation. Recorded by Anne La Berge on Centaur CDCM CD, The
in the Computer Age: II.
- The Casten Variation. 1993-4 Piano,
or piano and ensemble, HMSL-composed score. Premiered Mills College,
1994 (piano version). Will appear, performed by Sarah Cahill, on my
Artifact CD, Change.
- Bedhaya Sadra/Bedhaya Guthrie.
1990. Voices, melody instruments, kemanak and gamelan accompaniment;
work based on tunes by Woody Guthrie and I Wayan Sadra. Uses HMSL
software. Commissioned and premiered by ASTRA Choir (John McCaughey,
Melbourne, August, 1989. Revised version premiered NYC, Gamelan Son of
Lion, May, 1990. Revised score, 1992. Solo clarinet version, premiered
by Daniel Goode, August, 1992, Knitting Factory, NYC. Score published
Perspectives of New Music, 1995. Will appear (Dan Goode version, with
on gender), on my next Artifact CD, Change.
- Roads to Chimacum.
or string quartet. Computer-composed work. 17 variations on my
of a fiddle tune by Patricia Spaeth. Uses HMSL mutation software.
May, 1993, Modern Mandolin Quartet; and string quartet version, March,
- Two Children’s Songs.
two tubas, two bassoons, or any two bass wind instruments.
work. Uses HMSL mutation software. Premiered May, 1992, Dartmouth.
- 51 Melodies (Pride holds
in a continual, habitual process of readornment).
for two electric guitars and optional rhythm section, or any two melody
instruments. Uses HMSL mutation software. Premiered, December, 1991,
Intermedia Foundation, NYC. Will appear, performed by Nick Didkovsky
I on guitars, Leo Ciesa on drums, and Greg Anderson on bass, on my
Artifact CD, Change.
- Distance Music. Set of
number of performer/programmers using live microcomputer systems.
have been performed, including Distance Music I ("The Metric System")
Charles Ames), Distance Music IV ("Drawing Unnecessary
Music V ("The Roots of Learning") (for John Bischoff, Tim Perkis and
Horton), and Distance Music VI ("The World's Longest Melody") (for
Feldman). Published in Perspectives
of New Music.
- 17 Simple Melodies of the
(for Dan Goode). 1987-8. Clarinet (or any melody instrument) and
intelligent computer. Written in HMSL (portable live computer music
Premiered in NYC by Dan Goode, in Seattle by William Smith, in San
by George Brooks, in Toronto by John Oswald, in Europe by Ann LaBerge;
on cassette from Frog Peak Music. This piece is described in the CMJ
on my live HMSL pieces.
- Three Studies (for
computer): 1. Rhythm, 2. Melody, 3. Harmony. Premiered by the
Ensemble, NYC., May, 1990. Also performed at Telluride
and Darmstadt Festival (July,1990). Software distributed by Frog Peak
This piece is described in the CMJ article on my live HMSL pieces.
- Frog Peak Collaboration
1 minute tape works based on a text/reading by Chris Mann. Most of
on Frog Peak Colalborations CD.
The ones that use the mutation
- Study: baa baa birthday
star. August. Tape. Computer-synthesized work using Soundhack
mutations. On Computer Music Journal
20th Anniversary Issue CD. One of
the Three Anna Studies.