Clapping Machine Music Variations

for laptops and any number of acoustic instrumentalists. 
Composed for Sideband 

2010  ⤥  8-25′

At the core of Clapping Machine Music Variations is a pair of laptop-based Drum Machinists. Surrounding this duo is an assortment of other instruments, some clearly defined laptop-based instruments, others more variable and traditional in type. CMMV takes specific inspiration from works by Steve Reich, Gyorgi Ligeti and Bjork. In particular, the drum-machine algorithm was initially designed to mimic certain rhythmic processes in the Ligeti Etudes pour Piano, processes which also coincidentally generate the rhythmic pattern for Reich’s Clapping Music (this should come as no surprise, as both composers were deeply influenced by traditional African rhythms); this algorithm is then used to generate variations on the original Clapping Music pattern, variations that are explored over the course of CMMV. More generally inspiring are pieces like Riley’s In C,and Andriessen’s Worker’s Union, where some things are specified, other things are not, and anyone can join the party.

an early version of Clapping Machine Music Variations, with two violins

Score and Performance Materials


As of early 2020, the Drum Machine parts are performable with bitKlavier (galleries available soon). 
The original software (Max Standalones and source code, released under the GPL license) should also be usable, if a bit messier.

Under some duress, I wrote a paper about this piece.

materials are ©2010 Many Arrows Music, All Rights Reserved
Performance Rights licensed by ASCAP
software released under a GNU Public License (GPL)
for Synch and Mechanical licensing information: email.