fighting mozart's ghost

An exploration of post-digital sonic structures

Sound Design

Creative Technology

Computation

Spring 2019

Data Visualization

As humans evolve, so does music. Hunting brought about bone flutes, industrialized manufacturing allowed the mass instrumentalizing of orchestras, and consumer electronics have now ushered in a new era of synthesized sound. Despite the evolution of music's tools, its systems have remained stagnant, the same notational structures used by Mozart still present in Ableton Live, effectively barring out the majority of the sonic landscape. Despite appearing on the musical staff as equal intervals, the frequencies of the familiar musical scale grow further apart the higher they are, leaving out increasingly larger swathes of potential musical sound in the process.

Traditional

Realistic

The systems we exist in define our ability to experience. If the system is limited, our ability to experience things outside of it is restricted. Music is a multi-generational system of sonic indoctrination, and working outside of it requires exposure. Slowly, the structure of notes is recognized as cacophony, and their inverse understood as reality.

When transposed to a separate system of prime numbers, familiar compositions take on another meaning, another emotion, another interpretation. When released from their intended confines, systems find new meaning and value, a glimpse of what else they could hold.

Mozart's Flute Concerto

Debussy's Clair de Lune

Beethoven's Eighth

Bach's Cello Suite

Traditional

Prime