MIDI study

In this week’s class we first had a small class concert of interactive, improvisational MIDI studies. The general quality was high and I think the pieces were very interesting, at times dramatic, at others humouristic, working with texture, sound masses, instrumentation, and many other elements. The density of notes was a bit reminiscent of the idea of Black Midi ;-)

This little concert within the ‘laboratory’ studio space also serves as a preparation/experience for learning about the logistics it takes when working with real-time electronics: Different from fixed media pieces, and even more than in purely instrumental music, everything needs to be thoroughly prepared and rehearsed in advance (your software/hardware needs be tested in-site in a dress rehearsal). Please make sure for the future to have an initialization (or possibly a ‘soundcheck’ event), so it takes you less than a minute to start. There’s nothing more frustrating to a performer (or an audience), than having to wait for multiple starts/trials for a piece to begin.

After watching a video of K.H. Essl performing his “Lexicon” Sonata on a Zeus Boesendorfer piano using a MIDI faderbox  (see video below) we then discussed the different viewpoints on the idea/concept of “composition” of Chadabe, Risset and Essl. We noted musical characteristics of the different approaches, in particular harmonic, metric, and formal.

In the programming part of the class we worked on our MIDI modules and introduced the concept of Namespaces.

Please find the weekly patches in the Downloads section.

We then listened to two pieces, both written for piano and live electronics. Please find the videos (and scores) below.


Please have a look at the myCourses page for your weekly assignment.

2 thoughts on “MIDI study”

    1. Thanks for sharing this.
      The notice of D. Wessel’s passing hit the world-wide computer, music and research community like a shockwave. He’s been a great source of inspiration to many and such a warm-hearted person (met him first in 2004, I think). He’ll be greatly missed.

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