[r-t] Compositions of the Decade: Part 1 - Preamble
richard at ex-parrot.com
Thu Nov 19 00:58:11 UTC 2009
Philip Earis wrote:
> a new decade will soon be starting.
Well, in 13 months it will :-)
> Given the vast, vast search spaces, though, computer power
> is usually just a tool that needs a clever mind to produce
> a great result. Intelligent design, one could say, is what
> differentiates composer from monkey.
I whole-heartedly agree with this. Unfortunately, tools
like BYROC have given computer-assisted composing a bad
name. Any monkey can crank BYROC's handle and wait until it
excretes a composition. (That isn't to say it can't produce
decent compositions too, if used in a thoughtful manner.)
As a result, it seems to me that composers are quite cagey
about admitting to having used a computer, other than to
prove it afterwards.
> It is also of concern that many of the compositions I will
> include are hard to find, and in quite a few cases do not
> appear on the web, even on a fleeting medium like a
> personal website.
I agree with this too, although on this point I'm as guilty
as anyone. I'm sure some of this seeming secrecy is
intentional -- if you've produced a composition that you
feel is particularly special, it's nice to have a say in who
rings it first. But I'm equally sure a lot of the time it's
just down to bad organisation, or failure to appreciate that
it's worthy of publication.
> It is hoped that efforts at producing a stable, central
> online repository for compositions will yield tangible
> results soon.
I would love to see a single central compositions database,
and this was something that GACJ and others were discussing
back in the spring. It seems to have fizzled out, not, I
suspect, due to lack of enthusiasm, but more due to everyone
involved having lots of other commitments on their time, and
a number of difficult issues that need resolving (and,
importantly, resolving in the right way). I'll see if I can
find time to return to it this winter.
> Coming tomorrow - Part 2: Doubles
I shall particularly look forward to this part. I have
tended to neglect doubles thinking that everything
interesting has already been discovered. But given that we
don't even know to within a few orders of magnitude how many
extents there are, that's something of a sweeping statement.
And, of course, you can do further things using multi-extent
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