Iterative Music is an ongoing project I’ve been working on since 2014, comprising compositions, performances and a web-based interface.

The concepts behind the project explore ideas in relation to mathematical processes, indeterminacy, “vertical” and “horizontal” time, and the balance between subjectivity and objectivity. 

 

The compositions are created using one of a number of simple processes that involve dividing, looping, manipulating and superimposing layers of audio material. The processes are built solely on pre-defined units of duration, which are then replicated to form the basis of a series of pieces, each one structurally identical yet using different material.

 

In performance, the strict logic and rigour of the mathematical structures is juxtaposed with an indeterminate approach to repetition. Using Ableton Live, I retain the freedom to progress from one loop to the next at a time of my own choosing. The composite patterns that result from the process are unknown to me before they occur. It would, of course, be entirely possible for me to do a ‘trial run’ of a piece in advance. However, I choose not to: live, the process, and thus the piece, unfolds in real time - the results of each step are as unforeseen to me as they are to the audience.

 

This variable approach to repetition allows me to exercise an element of subjectivity: if a particular composite pattern catches my imagination, I have the freedom to ‘pause’ the process and to let the loop cycle longer. Conversely, if I feel that a given composite is less interesting, I can move on.

 

The interface, created by Tomas Gisby, enables anyone to create their own version of an Iterative Music piece. Using either the preloaded audio material, or by uploading new material, the interface allows you to select the loops you wish you use and the algorithm then creates the piece following one of the mathematical processes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The CD Four Iterative Pieces was released in September, 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The live performance at Noizemachin!! #13 in London can be heard here.

To date, I've given performances of / presentations on Iterative Music at:

I am particularly interested, with future pieces and performances of Iterative Music, in exploring site-specific ideas. If you know of, or are associated with, a location that you feel could be a source of distinctive audio material, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

For enquiries about hosting a performance of, or lecture recital on, Iterative Music, drop me a line here.