The purpose of this class is to explore bold and exciting new musical applications of computers and digital technology. In other words, we get to make it up as we go along! So this may not be the most coherent and unified pedagogical experience that you will ever have, but it should be a fun term.
We're taking a very different approach to the class this term than we have in the past. The field of 'computer music' has become increasingly diffuse, encompassing many different areas of work. We have a lot of talent here at Columbia, and rather than present our particular view of things we've decided to use that talent to show the various activities we call 'computer music' here. A glance at the course syllabus will show that we have a number of guest speakers scheduled throughout the term (hey! they're our students! go lions!). We'll also have a few other outside speakers doing presentations about their work; they'll be announced in class and on the syllabus. We'll also be adding links from each weekly listing on the syllabus to information, example projects, class work, etc. as the course unfolds.
If there is any overarching theme to the class, it is probably "interactivity", fitting nicely with the other courses being offered this term. We'll be uisng a very expansive definition of "interactivity", ranging from a high-level focus on relations between processes and complex models to a lower-level engagement with direct synthesis and signal-processing of sound.
Along the way we intend to introduce a number of contemporary computer
music languages and interesting software applications. Hopefully
you will find some of these intriguing and will develop a class
project using these tools. We will be available to help work through
any problems you encounter as you explore these packages in more
depth. Just ask!
Such is life.
Here are a few links to software that we probably will be using in class:
At this point, we assume that you sort-of know your way around our studios and hardware. Please let us know if you are having problems gaining access to our facilities or getting equipment to work for you.
If you are having difficulty understanding the programming paradigms
we are using, or getting the hardware/software to work for you, be
sure to talk to us. We'll be happy to sit down and work through
any issues with you.
We'll try to keep up with linking in class patches and examples,
but we may fall behind. Yell at us when we do.
It's always a good idea to make an appointment to see me, even during my purported office hours, because I often have to run around campus like a maniac doing strange, computer-music stuff. If you need to contact someone at the CMC or Music Department using your actual voice, the relevant phone numbers are:
I say this every year, and generally people believe it (I think): by this point in your career the last thing you should be worrying about is a grade. The main thing is to find something that you'd really like to do and then do it. Please don't try to impress us with your consummate knowledge and skill, we are more impressed by people who do things. Honest!
Hope you enjoy the class!