Mick Sussman is an American avant-garde composer. However it is more complicated; who / which one is the composer – he or The Rosenberg Algorithmic Music Generator?
With the push of a button, Rosenberg – a software program created by Sussman – composes a unique piece of music, making thousands of decisions based on a sequence of randomized processes. The art project was launched on June 7, 2016 on Sublunar. It implies the release of 365 singles during a year.
The resulting compositions – mesmeric, microtonal, rhythmically intricate, seemingly purposeful and surprisingly varied – demonstrate the potential of partially automated creativity. Rosenberg is freakishly prolific: it can crank out music as fast as a human can process it, 40 hours and counting.
Though Rosenberg acts as a conceptual provocation, its primary purpose is to make enjoyable music. Embracing many genres, these pieces have echoes of post-classical and jazz mavericks like Harry Partch and Ornette Coleman; electronic experimentalists like Laurie Spiegel and Tyondai Braxton; global sources like gamelan and Afropop; and hints of everything from Dixieland jazz to psychedelic rock. This is also postmodern art music. It’s a distinctive sound that may seem perplexing at first, but is surprisingly approachable when you get to know it.
The Rosenberg Algorithmic Music Generator: Selected Works, Vol. 1 has been released digitally and will be out on CD on June 19. These compositions are in the same vein as the 365 singles, but since they are generated after that project they also unveil an interesting development...
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