Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
Set in Motion is a composition in two movements for an ensemble of 10 instruments that interacts with a computer in real-time performance using Max/MSP software. The instrumental writing in the piece focuses on incorporating electronic composition techniques into acoustic composition. Techniques such as constructing envelopes, shading, and sound masses, which are common in electronic works are applied to the ensemble. Also, the intervals of a major and minor second are important in the instrumental writing. These intervals provided the basis for the material, which was then transformed algorithmically, both in individual lines and whole sections of music.
In terms of the electronics, the first movement takes advantage of the interactive possibilities of the software. The electronic part is created through the computer extending, processing, and responding to the instruments. The techniques include extracting small grains of sound from the live instruments and repeating them, analyzing the pitch of the signal and amplifying overtones, and rearranging fragments in blocks of recorded sound. The second movement changes the focus of the electronic sound. The electronics are made of precomposed gestures that compliment the live instruments. These gestures are categorized and selected randomly according to specific characteristics. Filtering and other effects applied to the sounds are chosen randomly as well.
composition, electronics, interactive, Max/MSP, music
vi, 98 pages
Copyright 2011 Christopher Shortway
Shortway, Christopher Greg. "Set in motion." PhD (Doctor of Philosophy) thesis, University of Iowa, 2011.