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Jeremy gained his PhD in algorithmic composition from the department of mathematical sciences at Bath University, UK. His supervisor was Prof. John Ffitch and he graduated in 1999. Since then while working in the software industry he has continued his passion for algorithmic music and understanding why music is what it is. Now, spurred on by some breakthroughs in his computational model of music, he is working hard to complete Version 2 of the system.
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Countdown to Version 2:
- - Hours
- - Minutes
- - Seconds
The works of music produced by Version 2 will formally be released on the 1st of September 2012. However, interim results may be posted on the site before that.
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This site is a showcase for the latest techniques in algorithmic composition.
What's so Special about this Music?
The music below was composed entirely by a computer program written by Jeremy Leach PhD. The program does not use any melodic/rhythmic fragments or data from existing human composed work.
The melodies, rhythms and harmonic progressions you are about to hear are generated solely by transforming random numbers from the computer's random number generator; the computer chooses every note itself. This means that running the program twice will result in an entirely different piece of music.
Works from Version 1 of the Program
Press play on the gadget to hear them
Can't hear them? Listen to these tracks on SoundCloud
Production notes: Although the program composes the notes for the pieces, it does not choose the instrumentation, i.e. the arrangement. The synthetic instruments were chosen by myself and the work played and recorded by a sequencer called Reaper. I choose instruments that I feel will best suit each part. You will notice that in the works above, some are called "remixes". In these the, actual notes have not been changed in any way, simply the instruments have been changed and in some cases the tempo (for example Tune9 Ambient Remix is a radically slowed down version of Tune9 Original Version).
The Theory in a Nutshell
The reason the program can transform random numbers into musical stuctures is because it has a theoretical basis for the meaning of music as a foundation. This theory holds that music is the by-product of the way our brains have evolved to understand the natural world. As humans we derive satisfaction and pleasure from learning how to predict temporal phenomena - indeed our survival depends on it. Music taps into this pleasure system by flooding our brains with multi-layered repeating and varied patterns that our brain automatically tries to predict. The right combination of repeated, varied and novel information over multiple time scales ensures a pleasing piece.
This program creates structures that satisfy these requirements using random numbers as the raw material. So are the results musical? Well - you can judge for yourself.
A score generated from the midi file of tune 9 by some standard score writing software
I am extremely pleased to announce that Version 2 of this program is now being written, which will result in higher quality music and greater longer term variation.
Completion of Version 2 is now expected on the 1st of September 2012! See countdown timer to right.
Very early preliminary results from Version 2!
Press play on the gadget to hear them
Production notes: These samples are produced for one hand on piano only, i.e. just one monophonic melody line, and are just meant to give a flavour of the structural complexity potential of the program so far. There is so much further to go before the works rival those of v1, and then they will quickly surpass them.
These date back to the 1990s, but they give a flavour of my approach
Towards a Universal Algorithmic system for Composition of Music and Audio-Visual Works. Jeremy L Leach. Proceedings of the ICMC'96, Kowloon, Hong Kong, pp320-323.
Making Sense of the World: Temporal and Spatial Perception and the Function of Art. Jeremy L Leach. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium Creativity and Cognition, 1996, LUTCHI Research Centre, Loughborough,England, pp176-183.
Algorithmic Composition as Gene Expression Based upon Fundamentals of Human Perception. Jeremy L Leach.Proceedings of the XI Colloquium on Musical Informatics, 1995, Bologne, Italy, pp7-10.
The Application of Differential Equations to the Modelling of Musical Change. J L Leach & J P Fitch. Proceedings of the ICMC'95, Banff, Canada, pp440-443.
Nature, Music and Algorithmic Composition. Jeremy Leach & John Fitch. Computer Music Journal, 19, Summer 1995, pp23-33.
What do you think of this computer composed music?
What do you think about the concept of computers composing music in general?