Generative music is a term often used by Brian Eno. It is music that is automatically generated. Well-known examples are the wind harp, the wind organ, wind whistles, which – you guessed it – are played by the wind. Using software you can go much further that this by randomised all sort of things.
The composition in generative music forms a framework within which the music can vary. The great thing is that like live music every time you play it you’ll hear a different version. There are generative apps that can do this, including some that were developed by said Brian Eno.
Listen to my first generative track: Evening Lights – alt 5.
This track has no real musical developments yet it varies continuously over a length of almost 23 minutes without actual repetitions. Very wonderfully! Like a cloud of sound. It provides an ambient track which is doing marvellously well with slow motion videos (a taxi ride in the big city, pictures of the Northern Lights etc). The mood is set at melancholic.
This 1st experiment I have built in Propellerhead Reason 9. It randomly chooses a note from a pentatonic scale on every bar and this triggers a chord which randomly is made more complex or less complex via additional notes. Moreover, the tone remains the same. The question when building the framework is: what to randomise and what not? You do not want the music to sound as chaos, but you also do not want it to be predictable and boring.
To be continued…
Also published on Medium.