Branch

Daniel Manesh, Douglas A Bowman Jr, and Sang Won Lee

Music Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

  • Year: 2023
  • Article Number: 1272
  • PDF link

Abstract:

Branch is a live coding étude centered around speech and form. The piece uses the TidalCycles language alongside a tool we developed called SHARP, which provides an interactive, tree-like structure embedded in the text editor to track how blocks of code evolve over time. SHARP opens up new musical affordances centered around quickly switching between previous program states. In addition, SHARP’s version trees act as a kind of post-hoc score, leaving a visual trace of the piece’s structure as it unfolds. With Branch, we attempt to go beyond a simple demonstration of SHARP as a tool and instead create a piece which highlights the interplay between musical form, its visual representation in SHARP, and the sonic material itself. To that end, Branch makes use of machine-generated speech based mostly on snippets from the text of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”. The text is largely decontextualized, and its treatment is somewhat tongue-in-cheek: while the poem’s premise centers around not being able to take both paths, we can easily explore as many code paths as we wish. In addition to speech, Branch uses audio samples from Freesound, including the sounds of twigs snapping, knocking on wood, and a person stepping on leaves.

Citation:

Daniel Manesh, Douglas A Bowman Jr, and Sang Won Lee. 2023. Branch. Music Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression. DOI:

BibTeX Entry:

  @article{nime23-music-1272,
 abstract = {Branch is a live coding étude centered around speech and form. The piece uses the TidalCycles language alongside a tool we developed called SHARP, which provides an interactive, tree-like structure embedded in the text editor to track how blocks of code evolve over time. SHARP opens up new musical affordances centered around quickly switching between previous program states. In addition, SHARP’s version trees act as a kind of post-hoc score, leaving a visual trace of the piece’s structure as it unfolds. With Branch, we attempt to go beyond a simple demonstration of SHARP as a tool and instead create a piece which highlights the interplay between musical form, its visual representation in SHARP, and the sonic material itself. To that end, Branch makes use of machine-generated speech based mostly on snippets from the text of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken”. The text is largely decontextualized, and its treatment is somewhat tongue-in-cheek: while the poem’s premise centers around not being able to take both paths, we can easily explore as many code paths as we wish. In addition to speech, Branch uses audio samples from Freesound, including the sounds of twigs snapping, knocking on wood, and a person stepping on leaves.},
 articleno = {1272},
 author = {Daniel Manesh and Douglas A Bowman Jr and Sang Won Lee},
 booktitle = {Music Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression},
 editor = {Rob Hamilton},
 month = {May},
 note = {Live Concert 4, Thursday June 1, Centro de Cultura Digital},
 title = {Branch},
 url = {https://www.nime.org/proceedings/2023/nime23_concert_4.pdf},
 year = {2023}
}