learning the ropes

things I made at ITP and after: sketches, prototypes, and other documentation

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Final Project Proposal Progress

Lisa suggested that randomness was perhaps a big idea to explore. We were talking about the idea that making musical expression – or more so – that the express ion of emotion (a seemingly random phenomena) through music requires a great deal of methodical / non-random- ordered, organized effort..

She wondered what sort of music might be produced it the keys on the piano were randomly arranged – tossed there – instead of their linear arrangement in ascending order by pitch from left to right. She wondered if it would be possible to make music on a randomly arranged keyboard.

Would that keyboard be reshuffled each time the performer play or even during the performance?

I cannot conceive of the possibility of developing technique on such an instrument. At the same time, I think this could have the potential to lower the barrier of musical communication between between a professional music and a beginner (or even a non musician) in a collaboration. If the professional musician do esn’t have any technique on an instrument he will not be able to clearly express his ideas. If a situation of improvisation is created with musician and non musician under these constraints, perhaps they can have a musical dialogue on a level playingfield — each able to break through his or her preconceived notions about musicality, expectations, goals…

Hot/Cold — temperature or color
“I enjoy the rich, resonant bass tones of a Steinway piano – the warmth of those tones combined with the fragile glass-like tones of the treble notes”

Personality Types of Musicians

The Language of Music
MIT researcher Michael Hawley spoke to us in Red’s class last semester about his projects and adventures. What stuck with me about his presentation, though, was his passion for live music. His presentation made me think about the idea that in the not so distant past, the piano was the home entertainment system. This sophisticated entertainment system required a nontrivial amount of learning in order to operate. What have we lost in giving up this formerly essential skill of playing the piano to merely playing the radio, CD player, or iPod?

posted by Michael at 9:43 pm  

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