Computers, Music and Art
TR 09:25-10:40AM / ECTR 109
A course introducing the creative side of computing in the context of music, sounds, images, and other digital artifacts. Students will be exposed to media modeling and computational thinking in the liberal arts and sciences. Students will develop several digital artifacts.
Course is open to all majors. No previous programming experience required.
- Test 1: Thursday, Feb. 19
- Test 2: Tuesday, Apr. 7
- Final: 8-11am, Tuesday, May 5, 2009
|Homework #1 is now posted.|
Readings & References
- Researchers play song recorded before Edison. The 10-second recording of a singer crooning the folk song “Au Clair de la Lune” was discovered earlier this month in an archive in Paris by a group of American audio historians. It was made, the researchers say, on April 9, 1860, on a phonautograph, a machine designed to record sounds visually, not to play them back. But the phonautograph recording, or phonautogram, was made playable — converted from squiggles on paper to sound — by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif.
- The reactable hardware is based on a translucent, round multi-touch surface. A camera situated beneath the table, continuously analyzes the surface, tracking the player's finger tips and the nature, position and orientation of physical objects that are distributed on its surface. These objects represent the components of a classic modular synthesizer, the players interact by moving these objects, changing their distance, orientation and the relation to each other. These actions directly control the topological structure and parameters of the sound synthesizer. A projector, also from underneath the table, draws dynamic animations on its surface, providing a visual feedback of the state, the activity and the main characteristics of the sounds produced by the audio synthesizer.
- An introduction to pair programming. This 9-minute video describes what pair programming is, the do's and don'ts of effective pairing, and the pros and cons of pair programming. Here is the accompanying worksheet.
- The BeatBearing is a tangible rhythm sequencer. Ball bearings are used to trigger (Roland TR-808) drum sounds. Visual feedback is provided from a CRT display underneath to indicate the current time and the state of each beat.
- Siftables are cookie-sized computers with motion sensing, neighbor detection, graphical display, and wireless communication. They act in concert to form a single interface: users physically manipulate them - piling, grouping, sorting - to interact with digital information and media. Siftables provides a new platform on which to implement tangible, visual and mobile applications.
- Chazelle, B. (2006), "Could your iPod be Holding the Greatest Mystery in Modern Science?", Math Horizons, vol 13, April 2006. Algorithmic thinking is likely to cause the most disruptive paradigm shift in the sciences since quantum mechanics. The big ideas revolve around universality, duality, and self-reference.
- Simply, John Maeda The MIT Media Lab's John Maeda lives at the intersection of technology and art -- a place that can get very complicated. Here, he talks about paring down to basics, and how he creates clean, elegant art, websites and web tools. In his book Laws of Simplicity, he offers 10 rules and 3 keys for simple living and working -- but in this talk, he boils it down to one simply delightful way to be. (Recorded March 2007 in Monterey, California. Duration: 16:10.)
- The Princeton Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk) is a newly established ensemble of computer-based musical meta-instruments. Each instrument consists of a laptop, a multi-channel hemispherical speaker, and a variety of control devices (keyboards, graphics tablets, sensors, etc.).
- CofC Library resources related to Computers, Music, and Art.
- Paper prototyping - what is it?
- Intro to Fractals from Wikipedia.
- Richards R. (2001), "A New Aesthetic for Environmental Awareness: Chaos Theory, the Beauty of Nature, and our Broader Humanistic Identity". Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Vol. 41, No. 2, pp. 59-95.
- Spehar, B., C.W.G. Clifford, B.R. Newell, and R.P. Taylor. (2003). "Universal Aesthetic of Fractals." Computers & Graphics, vol. 27, pp. 813-820.
- Intro to Python
- Direct Note Access For the first time in audio recording history you can identify and edit individual notes within polyphonic audio material.
- Seam carving for content-aware image resizing - YouTube video. Also see "Seam_carving" - Wikipedia article, and "Seam carving" - a detailed tutorial.
- Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Photosynth demo Using photos of oft-snapped subjects (like Notre Dame) scraped from around the Web, Photosynth (based on Seadragon technology) creates breathtaking multidimensional spaces with zoom and navigation features that outstrip all expectation. Its architect, Blaise Aguera y Arcas, shows it off in this standing-ovation demo. (Recorded March 2007 in Monterey, California. Duration: 7:42.)
- P. Prusinkiewicz and A. Lindenmayer (1990), "The Algorithmic Beauty of Plants", Springer-Verlag.
- ArtEscapes: Variations of Life in the Media Arts is an exhibition of art objects which are somehow dynamic and unpredictable, out of control, which can mutate and evolve, which can surprise us by an autonomy of their own and "try to escape" from their creators, giving us a flavor of aliveness.
Artifacts & Rules
- Scratch environment intro video, and image effects video. Also Getting Started (PDF), and Reference Guide (PDF).
- Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems.
- Processing is a free, open source environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. It is available for Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux.
- Irfan View image viewer - a useful image manipulation utility.
- Download Python (for Windows or Mac OS X). Optionally, also download Python Imaging Library (PIL) (for Windows or Mac OS X).
- ChucK is a new (and developing) audio programming language for real-time synthesis, composition, performance, and now, analysis - fully supported on MacOS X, Windows, and Linux.
- Also see the miniAudicle - a light-weight integrated development environment for the ChucK digital audio programming language.