...40 Iterations

Jost Muxfeldt, ...40 Iterations for a Piano Module

Computer Generated Music Composition

* Premiered 1998 Verein für experimentelle Musik, Darmstadt.

... 40 Iterations for a piano module
utilizes both determined and undetermined compositional processes, and the results partially calls this contrast into question. Other systematic contrasts are also played against each other.

In the end, the results of this experiment undermined my original intentions, and what remains is a repeating scheme, a minimalist piece in the spirit of Satie's Vexations.

The score was notated with an architectural drafting program, b.t.w.

40 Iterations ...

For piano module or 2 player pianos. Monitors or instruments should be at opposite ends of the stage. Feel free to use performers rather than machines, so long as the rhythm is accurate and the playing is non-expressive.

Progressions for each voice of the 4-note chord and triad parts should be determined randomly according to the following principles (remember, each voice of the triad or chord progresses individually):

l < n < h and C
l= lowest note limit
n= note
h= highest note limit
C = greatest interval of change

these values can change throughout the piece, but should be determined before the performance. The different grey-values in the score can be used
to determine the change points, but they are only an example.

A very small C will produce a feeling of contrapuntal motion at times.
A large C and a large range between l and h will sound rather pointalistic.

One of the original ideas of the piece was to dichotomize these two possibilities (i.e. counterpoint versus pointalism), and to play with that dichotomy. This is not mandatory, however.

Changes in parameter values need not coincide with the notated changes in rhythm or dynamics. However, the values should be determined once, and should not change from one repetition to the next.

Dynamics are indicated in traditional letters as well as through the tallness of the rectangles.