Concealing Existence

Concealing Existence for Cello and Generative Max MSP patch revolves around the idea of hiding from a variety of literal and abstract angles. There is something hidden from the cellist, the Max patch and the audience, though this will not be revealed in performance. The piece works by the cellist and patch ‘listening’ to one another and attempting to recognise and play a version of each other’s material.

The patch uses a first order Markov chain that has been programmed based on the score (with some probabilities altered for interest in some cases). This allows for some consistency in patterns when generating the music, while still allowing indeterminacy. Rather than defining the notes in the Markov chain based on pitch, the Concealing Existence patch instead takes into account the most notable element of the note, whether it be timbre, pitch, duration or all three. The note is then classified this way, to enable the patch to behave in a more similar way to the score rather than acknowledging every note with the same pitch as always serving the same function.

A conscious effort has been made not to describe this piece as for ‘solo cello and generative Max patch’ or even less accurately ‘solo cello and live electronics’. This is because the patch should be treated as an instrument and performer in itself rather than some kind of effect like those often used in live electronic pieces to manipulate or record and play back live audio.

This piece will be performed when it is safe to do so.

Click here to see a pdf of the score