Piano As Museum Is
Piano As Museum Is was a generative sound installation commissioned as part of Remix The Museum in the Brighton Museum, at the Brighton Digital Festival 2014.
The installation used pitch analysis methods to create generative compositions based on the traditional Western harmonic scale. The system played back piano samples from a large bank of recorded sounds, and matched them harmonically to electro-acoustic drones (themselves synthesised from the original piano recordings). This created two distinct ‘instruments’ which appeared to respond to new directions that the other took, a continual analysis of pitch and recombining of sonic material which created a constantly shifting composition with a distinct character.
The piano can be read as a museum of Western musical history – a dominant portion of historical material was either written or transcribed for it, laying in potential realisation within it. Piano As Museum Is suggests how computation can extend, rather than supplant, this vast archive of cultural information.
The PureData patch for this work can be found here: https://github.com/wesleygoatley/pianoasmuseumis