Lewis, George E.


Too Many Notes: Computers, Complexity and Culture in Voyager

Leonardo Music Journal: Vol. 10. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: 33-39.

URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/loi/lmj

Language(s): English


Automated Composition Interface Interactive Instruments Socio-Cultural Aspects of Electroacoustic Music Computer Music Mixed Work


In this article, the author discusses his computer music composition, Voyager, which employs a computer-driven, interactive "virtual improvising orchestra" that analyses an improviser’s performance in real time, generating both complex responses to the musician’s playing and independent behaviour arising from the program’s own internal processes. The author contends that notions about the nature and function of music are embedded in the structure of software-based music systems and that interactions with these systems tend to reveal characteristics of the community of thought and culture that produced them. Thus, Voyager is considered as a kind of computer music-making embodying African-American aesthetics and musical practices.