Undercover Harpsichord Agents Terrorize the Court

for processed harpsichord

‘Undercover Harpsichord Agents Terrorize The Court’ is an electroacoustic tape piece, whose sound material consists of transformations of harpsichord recordings performed by the composer. A controlled granular synthesis engine is used to playback and process the original material. The data structure for the process is provided by a complex hierarchical network of Lindenmayer Systems and Genetic Algorithms. This network generates a constantly varying and interconnected number of musical agents that move in a 5-dimensional space, with each dimension mapped to a certain parameter of the engine. Each active agent controls primarily one granulator but can also affect any level of the audio engine or the data structure. The agents generate a plethora of contrapuntal harpsichord voices, creating a vibrant environment under constant transformation. The original sound material is used as the seed for creating an expressive sonic palette that clashes with the traditional characteristics and use of the harpsichord. The piece commences with a sonic world slowly evolving out of noise. Contrasting musical elements struggle with each other and form sound and pattern masses with chaotic behavior that collide violently, leading to a collapse and decay of the world to its initial amorphous state.

Year: 2006
Type: Fixed medium
Description: 2 ch. sound for electronically processed harpsichord
Duration: 14’55”
Materials/Media: Sound, speakers
Software: stm.modular (Max/MSP)