Re: Choreography vs. Composition (and environments)

Nick Rothwell (
12 Jan 1998 13:39:52 -0000

> [Note I'm sending this mail before reading your possibly scathing
> reply]

I was just working myself up into a mild scathe when your reply came
through... :-)

> It
> is an interesting exercise to consider the object-oriented class heirarchy
> these elements form, and one immediately notices that filters form that
> subclass of transfer elements that involve selecting/removing some of the
> information from the signal (without actually distorting the remaining
> information !):

I'm sure that if we get into heavy information-theoretic territory
then it gets more complicated, but for the purposes of this thread I
think this is fine (although I'm always wary of the term
"object-oriented" used in an imprecise context because it's really an
umbrella term for a whole set of semantic techniques and concepts: for
example, what you mean here could be subtyping or behaviour

(Yes, I used the term "object-oriented" in my album press-release to
describe the software systems. That's because it's aimed at

> Not trying to defend myself here, but there is certainly some widespread
> use of the term "filter" to denote general signal transfer elements.

Probably, although I think we agree about how inappropriate this is.

> I've even heard
> "religious filter" to denote the biasing of information.

On the other hand, that's probably fair: a conceptual filter is one
which omits facts and information contrary to an entrenched world view
and opinion.

I think the main reason I objected to your use of the word "filter" to
describe your process is that, in the most general case, you could be
generating a lot more musical data than is readily apparent from the
raw gestures (so "generational system" is probably more apt). This is
probably similar to what I do when performing electronic scores.

> I fear I tend to write poorly with a
> pen these days, backtracking and scribbling bits out as if backspace and
> delete keys were available, instead of thinking before I write.

When I'm writing email I find that I tend to compose articles in a
linear fashion, doing very little backtracking except to correct typos
or rephrase the most recent few words of text. I've even written
magazine articles in the same manner. But this only works if there's a
line of discussion or argument to follow. And I can't do it
face-to-face, only in text.

         Nick Rothwell, CASSIEL        contemporary dance projects        music synthesis and control

years, passing by, VCO, VCF, and again, and again