UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Forms for string quartet and computer Kobayashi, Yota


Forms is a musical composition for string quartet and computer. This is a musical mimesis of the dynamic integrity that arises from diversities coexisting and developing harmoniously. The music presents vertical time, the time that unfolds in music where the foreground fluidity and background stasis mutually define each other. Forms is written in mereological form that I formulated through observing various representations of nonlinear musical time and philosophical concepts. In mereological form, the sonority of musical structures is formed through a parts-to-whole synthetic process. I formalized the theory of the modal universe accordingly, which provides harmonic resources that individually manifest a high degree of intrastructural association and relative interstructural difference. The theory thereby allows composing the constituent parts of a musical fabric with qualities of self-containment and identity. The nonlinear harmonic means of association between the musical structures establishes a comprehensive network that unifies the standalone parts with individual identifies into the proportional form of the whole composition. I described the composition procedure by illustrating the large-scale associational structures and the techniques to form the local structures based on the theory and by providing sectional analysis of the pitch structure and the electronic events. The performance system of Forms consists of human and software agents; the HCI draws on the environmental interface that I designed, which invisibly enhances the performance space, treating the whole environment as the interface. The software agent is a situated behavioural AI: in the theme of embodied virtuality, the computation—all the different ways the computer processes the human input and generates new data—is brought into the physical world through the interface, hence the HCI as part of the phenomenal world. The software components integral to the interface are formgen and FGLive that I developed for the generative function. The mapping for the electronic events does not prescribe the formative trace of the structural process but only provides auditory affordances for the agents. Following the trajectory of an ongoing conversation, the embodied interaction between the agents turns the otherwise static structures into flux, inciting the audience’s participative sense-making, enactive listening.

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