The multifaceted composer-performer David Rosenboom is visiting RMC from CalArts i Los Angeles, and is giving a talk on some of the key subjects of his artistic carreer.
David Rosenboom (b. 1947) is a multifaceted composer-performer (piano, violin-viola, conducting, electronic media, etc.), interdisciplinary artist, author and educator known as a pioneer in American experimental music. During his long career he has composed and performed many kinds of music, explored ideas about the spontaneous evolution of musical forms, languages for improvisation, new techniques in scoring for ensembles, multi-disciplinary composition and performance, cross-cultural collaborations, performance art and literature, interactive multi-media and new instrument technologies, generative algorithmic systems, art-science research and philosophy, and extended musical interface with the human nervous system. A recent feature article in The Wire magazine about Rosenboom’s life and work begins, “Biofeedback, intelligence swarms, solar vibrations and generative opera are among the utopian possibilities proposed by US composer David Rosenboom during 50 years of navigating new frontiers of music and technology.”
Some notes for the talk ""Deviant Resonances— Listening to Evolution—Nature’s Creative Challenge to Absolute Mappings of Biological Phenomena in Music"
What happens when two forms of musical intelligence—either naturally emerging from cosmological dynamics or volitionally constructed by purposeful beings—attempt to initiate co-communication with each other, while neither possess an a priori model describing the range and scope of ways in which either intelligence or music can be manifested? And, what if one is human and the other a complex adaptive musical instrument, and neither has any clear pre-definitions about the other? What frameworks best encourage co-creative (non-destructive), improvised evolution?
Exercises in linking complex self-organizing systems to each other via mappings in multi-modal stimulus domains can pose fascinating challenges to our notions about predictive model building. Fortuitously, these challenges can also quickly reveal fertile territories from which to mine potential methods for realizing new forms in the creative arts and to examine for the purposes of advancing experimental paradigms. This is an endeavor in which art and science can meet in deep theoretical territory, artscience.
In advanced forms of BCMI (Brain-Computer Music Interface), we can imagine and implement links among complex self-organizing systems—like brains or multi-person hyper-brains—with forms of synthetic intelligence—possibly imbedded in musical instruments—, which we try to endow with some faculty for self-organization. To build these realizations, we may posit propositional models. They are propositional partly because we often operate with limited capacity to pre-determine things, and frequently as artists, with declared intentions not to do so. Furthermore, nature operates with myriad forms of uncertainty at fundamental levels, and ironically, from that uncertainty emerges order, deviant resonances.
Achieving absolutely predictable, quasi-deterministic mappings of biological phenomena, such as brain signals or the movements of fingers, onto multi-arts tools and music synthesis machines is bounded by fundamental limits born of imbedded uncertainties in natural phenomena. In the arts—for this presentation especially music—, we have license to freely explore the nature of these limits and discover how valuable such uncertainties can often be in unveiling new creative directions. If we seriously examine the deviant resonances that can show up in BCMI when we try to implement absolute mappings, we can often reap rich rewards. What surprising insights might emerge if we try to untangle all the hidden assumptions in a statement like, “What is the size and complexity of the algorithm required for me to always know that my brain’s thoughts of raspberry gelato will eternally map to Eb-Major, and why do I care?”
This talk explores and demonstrates selected historical and recent examples from my composer-performer practice that explore propositional models for musical worlds, which collapse distinctions among formal percepts and embrace a dynamic dimensionality in musical structures that may be fundamentally emergent and/or co-creative.
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