generative music

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Generative music is a term popularized by Brian Eno to describe music that is ever-different and changing, and that is created by a system.

In 1995 whilst working with SSEYO’s Koan software (built by Tim Cole & Pete Cole who later evolved it to Noatikl then Wotja), Brian Eno used & coined the term “Generative Music” to describe any music that is ever-different & changing, created by a system. The term has since gone on to be used to refer to a wide range of music, from entirely random music mixes created by multiple simultaneous CD playback, through to live rule-based computer composition.

(re) intro’d to the term here: []

Brian Eno and Finn Williams (@commonoffice)

33 min – richard sennet diagram – essence of treating people like individuals.. rather than as members of communities


34 min – finn: richard talks about in that book of the importance of complexity.. ambiguity.. in the city.. so the way you use rules.. to generate music.. and ways planners could use that for cities

35 min – generative music is an idea that instead of designing a piece of music in full detail.. how you imagine it in the past.. piece is in pre existence.. like an architect’s plan..

instead of that .. imagine a piece of music where you set in motion a few rules.. and give a few possible behaviors.. and then see what happens when they combine..

36 min – ie: first piece that worked like this.. terry riley’s in c [] any group of instruments can play it.. every player plays same thing.. but each player plays thru at own speed..  ie: move to bar 2 whenever you feel like it.. ie: middle of piece 20 or 30 diff musical statementts going on together..  simple.. every performance is diff

38 min – instead of writing down how you wanted this piece to be.. you gave the performers a toolkit.. just use these and work you way thru it.. everyone has to end on same bar.. starts same.. diff.. unison at end..

in architecture.. precise plan.. but this is more like gardening.. every time.. every year.. diff.. so a diff vision for what art could be like..

39 min – finn: to me that’s the diff of architecture (exploiting opps) and good planning (creating opps).. enjoying the unexpected..

much like as it could be.. w/2 convers as infra

40 min – i think a lot of old cities are like that..  they’re so idosyncratic..

imagine.. in the city.. as the day.. via idio-jargon/self-talk as data]


music as health


the music instinct


generative value