Controlled Chaos in Music


Controlled Chaos in Music

When the factor of chance entered the artists’┬ámethod in the 20th century, art made a huge leap. Not only the motives became less figural and bound to obvious perceivable nature, the incorporating of fuzzyness and randomness in certain degrees had deceisive side effects: the relativation of the artist’s mastermind and the humbly bowing to nature’s intrinsic virtues. Like Zen monks have discovered ages before, the aware letting-go of control can lead to new results and forms of expression.

In music, however, there are multiple ways to randomness of which not every one is of interest to me. My inspiration is derived from the computer software concept called “object oriented” programming. A “black box” is given information and taken output from. How it exactly works, is hidden in deeper layers and not to be bothered about in the main program’s flow.
In live performed music, who else than highly creative and perfectly trained musicians could act as such boxes and lighten up the sound with their craftsmanship! Hence irregular loops are given to them and are to be executed anytime and completely independent from the musical environment. They act as generators for musical content.

Mainly the “free” elements consider the domain of time and pitch. Any tone of a “tone pool” can be used and lengths of notes and pauses are opened with “chaos fermatas” which do vary in length of time. Every open element is rendered anew every iteration, so a complex texture is generated.


“port 42” shows such a chaotic structure, it uses the model showed above. A large ensemble playes notes randomly placed in time and every musician can shoose between various notes wich together form a chord of 5ths spread over all registers.

Of course, so-called “tutti” elements are featured and written-out elements break the mosaic structure.

Another aspect is a new form of freedom – which is one of the foremost ingredients to suggest creativity. The musicians’ role shifts from note-picking subordinant to creative co-creator. In times of impro- and free jazz trained musicians these assests turn out to be great gifts for any composer who is willing to make use of each personality’s great potential.

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