Drawing of a Lockheed L10A Electra

- Scholium -

Annotations by Juan Reyes and others.

Two people thinking are better than one

On gatherings this unforgettable winter, a lot of friends have brought the subject of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Some annoyed because their children or dear ones might lose their job. Further complicating issues, comments on read magazine articles anticipating a likelihood that an unforgivable machine will read government or legal forms, allowing for little or not margin error from our part seems bothersome. Tip of iceberg regarding the subject, a baby gadget taking on pattern recognition in a microchip that will signal a phone-app whether baby is happy or sad. - Are we talking machine intelligent motherhood?.- 1

Most discussions on AI topics these days end up admitting that laymen deserve mind relaxation and leastwise that ``machines might think better''. Ingenuously, seems conclusive that derivatives offspring of AI are staying and thus becoming accessories for life and well-being. However, thinking on - brain power - means focusing on multitasking and parallel processing abilities, in addition to processing speed, given that our survival instinct features are processing input all time. Whatever happens on someone's mind still a complex endeavor. Accordingly, tendency gears toward AI positioning itself as an extension of the brain.

On mentioned pal exchanges we were confronted with asserting AI examples which might prevail time. A lot of those came around the musical domain, considering we have been on this subject matter for more than twenty years now. Topping the list are Score Followers, automatic comping, analysis of scores and musicological classification, among others. Worth mentioning, models and exponents for gesture sensing and mapping on new musical instrument interfaces, and of course, computer aided composition by means of ``Constrained Based Programming'' (aka. Constraint-based Composition). - A paradoxical concern for musical apprehension arises: will intelligent aesthetics dictate musical taste and further assure top-twenty hits?-. Hopefully, time will tell and thus ruling would be on human perception instead.

AI is proportional to the amount of intelligence we provide. Inevitably, it follows that some patterns are perceived logical and others are reasonably deceptive and thus not necessarily logical. For a definitive rational ``human decision'', it follows that it takes precise twisting of illogical patterns to conspicuously assert a right choice. Consequently, Two confronting minds are better than one.

[ Tue Mar 19 01:25:04 PM PDT 2024 ]

Millions of Bells in the Cathedral

Walked into Saints Peter and Paul cathedral and got impressed as when walking through rooms at La Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Difference here was that perception is not as related to pattern matching of visual sights but instead as to thousands of aural clues radiated from at least a quarter of a sphere beyond the transept of this space. Moving from one position to another along the nave seemed that reflections would only marginally change. Several insights came to mind. If symmetries are part of pattern recognition while looking at floors and ceilings on La Alhambra, could a similar behavior arise product of reflections and resonances on this cathedral as well as on spaces alike?.

Could we model this behavior for artificial reverberation or Higher order Ambisonics' reverberation. How symmetries affect resonant modes on big spaces like this. Would symmetric reflecting paths affect localization clues for sound sources. A side approach for resolving these questions was that of taking impulse responses on different positions using an Ambisonics' microphone approach on three omni-directional microphones using a 'x-y-z' pattern. These responses would later be used on the Zita Convolver for convolution reverb and perhaps some Matlab modeling to adjust parameters. Although still a hunch, there might be some symmetrical perception effects result of colliding impulse responses from different points of sight in the cathedral. The above points can also be summoned on Barry Blesser's book ``Spaces speak, are you listening''([1] (pg 247):

``Think of a cathedral as millions of bells(resonating oscillators), each with its own pitch(resonance frequency), and each with a slightly different decay rate(reverberation time). The clarinet sound (or a flue sound) rings (excites) only those bells with a pitch corresponding to the frequency content of the clarinet (or flue).- In other words, you are actually hearing the bells of space, not the original clarinet (or flue) sounds-.''

- Equally inspiring Messiaen on the cathedral's 100+ ranks organ!.-

[1] Blesser B. and LB. Salter, Spaces Speak, Are You Listening? Experiencing Aural Architecture MIT Press, Cambridge, USA, September, 2009.


Speaking of machine thinking!...

Following my grain-of-salt on a thread apropos of current hip on Artificial Intelligence but yearning about predictions made on the Computer Music Journal, and periodical blather on AI with colleagues for more than twenty five years now.

Just hoping "chatGPT" doesn't become doesn't become a Rosetta stone for our age, our civilization. Here struggling if I should write my comment using chatGPT "

But for what might be worth, I'll be giving my brain another shot.

The fact that getting a response or rather 'suggestion' while using GPT requires implicit human intervention, outlines some form of 'intelligence' which reminds of Miskyan unrest that had surfaced from time to time. Furthermore, all signs point this kind of interaction requires cognition to a great degree.

Pointing here that human intelligence matures through the years and though, GPT can also be trained as time goes by, physiology of the body disengages the brain from the system. Take for instance our suspicion of taste.

For the non so skeptical taste is part of the body. Recall conversations on the old CCRMA trailer commenting on how reactions to taste excite chemical reactions throughout the body. However, not limited to food these 'intuitions' transcend onto how art and music intricacies are measured and validated. Philosophical aspects should also be taken into account because hermeneutical aspects on how we depict illustrations of an image we have from a song or a painting. Therefore taste implies embodiment of something we are perceiving.

That we listen to Steele Dan, and for that matter to Miles Davis and Brahms is function on how we interpret and make sense of an object or a signal. Needless to say 'intelligence', and a lot of the above, has been pointed by our own Dan Levitin on several of his writings and talks, in case science is needed to make sense of it. That we listen to a song over and over might be chemistry on our bodies, philosophy on the mind, or, yeah right-, a neural-net!.

While reading these messages can stop thinking on Chowning's annotation that music was not all about sound. "Touch plays a huge part in music". Not so candid, remembering these comments can't help scratching on another layer of intelligent cognition. What about the role of mystery?, meaning that, "there is always something else between the lines".

Growing up using dictionaries, the Britannica and later reference cards on libraries until gwwgle came up. First time I searched for a text pattern using google on firefox was on Linux wokstation, at least sixteen years ago, having Norvig's book on the desk. Have to admit I was dubious on its strength. However gwwgle likewise on Firefox, pencil, dictionaries and thesaurus still around. Have not opened the Chicago Manual of Style in a while.

I envision misuse of ChatGPT on several domains. Just naming a few, on the writing of legal contracts, magazine articles, CVs, jokes and obituaries. Though, commendable while scripting 'Westworld' like episodes.

[ Sat Mar 11 07:54:45 AM PDT 2023 ]

On several spaces at once, memories for present

Yesterday my nephew phoned saying that his therapist pinpointed so called, "Cabin Fever" as an usual scene on present days. Not on so shallow, seems that many around might have its symptoms. Moreover, seems that all days belong to the same season, thereby following a pattern far from a random walk for everyday quotidian and thus recurrent life. However, mental activity on passed details seems to guarantee well being for present. On this tone, need to outline that seven years have passed after we made happened the first Colombian inter-university teleconcert taking place among The Autonomous University of the Caribbean in Barranquilla (who was hosting), University of Caldas in Manizales, and Icesi University in Cali. Piece for this venue was "4.25 Orejas" or rather "BatSears”" composed under the pseudonym of Christian Ramones by me.

While preparing the event, audience was skeptical of what was going to happen, not only on a technical side but also music wise. Rehearsal time was little. Got connections and multichannel audio at a good sample rate, in addition to separate visuals. All left were instrumental levels and ensemble interaction. Centric to this performance, a grand piano in Barranquilla, out of tune, -Don’t think this piano was used very often-, probably used for comping hymns such as the city’s and school’s. But for me it was a captivating white piano in a small foyer able to produce resonant clusters of every sort. Doubters of any sound coming from this instruments and tele-performance itself ended up paying attention to some extend but still disbelief any expression coming out as bytes, notes or music.

At the end all resulted in a telematic venue, historic to a great extend, happening on three different sites, at least four hundred miles apart. Worth saying, on the land of Joselito Carnaval, avant-garde improvised, telematic, live electronics were a first not well taken because lacking of strong rhythm and beat entities. Likewise, dance or theatrical components were not part of the event. Widely known, presentations of this sort post more questions than answers for most details. Hence hoping something was seeded. From each performer’s perspective, music was on the air and on wires for that matter. Need not to say, Video parts and visuals were relished and consequently better taken. Again widely known, people are more susceptible to visual discoveries. Of course visuals were also telepresent.

Coming back to present times, telematics are not an option anymore. Seems to many that it is the "status quo" for newest expressions. Hereby general audiences need to acknowledge that the frontal listening paradigm governing performances has been broken, giving way a myriad of means for listening and perception. An instance of breaking frontal concert paradigms comes to mind few weeks ago, while attending a multi-place / multi-space composition (installation for others), where sounds emanating triggered synesthesia and other gestures. Here telematics on several spaces were happening at once, and for the listener an illusion of perceiving a single piece on different spaces at once was sparked somehow. This effort buzzing on Philadelphia’s center city, on several landmark buildings, if reality bounds what is brisking inside.

For an account of what is going on our own, for the purpose of this log and, and in spite of cabin fever, a lot seems like a static bike. Nevertheless need to acknowledge that most of Solimar compositions have been recovered from aging DAT tapes and quarter inch analog tapes. Hope to have them online soon. On parallel time, issues regarding "open scores" have turned on few lights. On this matter we are now gearing toward an analogy concerning "fractalization" using macro vs. micro structural perception and methodological interpretation of how a performer might interpret these kind of scores. "Sight reading might help but a performer still need to learn a score".

[ Fri Oct 22 03:25:37 PM PDT 2021 ]

Caribbean Lives, Caribbean Insight

Remembering Alvin Toffler's Future Shock these days. This book was among first readings in English suggested by my pal Susan Sears, during early college years in the U.S. She and I used to engage in long talks over sighting society issues, while looking down the hill on Southern Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia. Little we knew about what was going to happen around us on issues such as a communications revolution then turning into a flatten world with people knowing each other everywhere. Toffler's idea of future (circa 1970) spoiled the notion of ``too much change in too a short period of time''. Although aimed towards technological, for many of us changes were more concerned around cultural and sociological aftermaths more than anything else. This was a melting mixture of Anglo-Saxon ideas with those of Hispanic heritage, among others. If we tackled technological aspects, it meant the Stereo Hi-Fi planet and unrest because of the wait for the ``Digital domain''.

Cultural and rather sociological because for many of us, our endeavor seemed to be too homogeneous in most part with everything given and rather tasteless. But as bothersome as it might seem, in those days (circa 1980's) recall confronting my identity and leaning toward a Caribbean heritage, not just because of my Spanish accent but because of origins and sharing oxygen at sea level with others like me. Call it spirit because of my Caribbean ties. Need to say that in those days I hanged out a lot with Venezuelans because a hunch pertaining as to what things should be, amongst, tale telling, food, dancing and certainly music. How can we forget Monday nights and the Village-Gate in Manhattan, not listening to Opera or Jazz but to Salsa. Touching on this as a preamble for a response as to why is Barranquilla , a city on the Caribbean, so important and inspirational on life and in a lot of my work. Here reiterating a link to peoples on these coasts while overcoming cultural-shocks. Not by geography, it's easy to think this sea goes all the way down to Rio de Janeiro and even beyond, meaning that all of us along these shores share something in common. Far from speculation, 'mandioca' pastry and black beans, we are talking about music and its environs.

There are ties as Hispanics, but this label is far from homogeneous. On every tale, on every situation, there is insight. Cheat chat on these coast lands doesn't exit, because on every word participated, there is fantasy and thereby, confronting reality seems quite pointless. Teasing about life is a way of living and dreaming on this side of the world. On the same token, thinking this way triggers imagination and creativity on many instances. With my feet on the ground, and to be fair to tax-payers in Barranquilla, this city on a hill just above sea level and facing one side the Magdalena river and on the other the Caribbean, was among first cities on the Latin American continent to see the industrial revolution. It bears its fame as birthplace of commercial aviation but not just that. For years a submarine telephone cable joining North and South America lands on the city and thus fruit for fiction stories. Further, its layout follows a pattern also found in Pasadena, California.

In spite of its Carnival, people commit to 'hard' challenges through the year, though always fantasizing and imagining answers very often too idealistic to materialize. Normal talk is tale telling on literary boundaries. Whatever this Caribbean spirit is, it is embedded with curiosity and imagination and a magnet forcing fictional or realistic ideas sprout, though gravitating into a dynamic fun lifestyle most of the time. Will fall short by saying that it was on this city where I first realized that music is something beyond what is heard. Recall listening to a tale teller speculating as how a song should sound. But outlining here as to why this is inspiring, insights just alike consequently trigger a sort of imagination not so constrained to creativity but also to ingenuity as well. There it was, where we saw chemistry and physics in action and where fondness for aviation and electronics also begun, among other insights.

As for Toffler's Future Shock, on a flat world and instant communication all around, a cultural shock goes on parallel though feeding from each other. An homogeneous lifestyle is not more than a pale colored picture. Facing these shocks has been a swing to blue prints in two dimensions meaning and as my Irish pals in Pennsylvania will allege, ``your mind is really looking at three dimensions or more.'' So the Caribbean, part of one's cultural shock was not more than a window and further awakening to people on a variety of latitudes. Furthermore fantasizing around common semantics because grammars and symbols seem to be universal for that matter.

[ Tue 06 Jul 2021 06:16:19 AM PDT ]

Is hardware still relevant on any lifestyle?

There we were trying to revive a Sun SparcStation. All efforts because as with other Sun hardware, this was an outrageous piece of computer equipment. Not so widely used for music, although it could do an amazing amount of signal processing when it came out. Sun didn't bother on designing digital-to-analog converters for audio, since focus was more on data crunching. Besides, it had a seamless system administration software in addition to a well implemented file server which kept happy a lot of 'sys-ad' people. Recall calling Sun, once or twice, and they would answer anything without hesitation. Though reminisces of past moments and previous concepts on what equipment and support should be, this undoubtedly makes us think on approaches about these regards these days. In fact, should we ask ourselves if there's a notion of hardware today?. All that people care today are graphic user interfaces and software layouts.

If the above seems like a complaint, may be it is. Last year after carefully following manufacturer's directions I ended up burning a motherboard of a laptop. Of course, this was not a Sun but a major manufacturer of these days. Punishment, yes!. Countless hours waiting for a call center (somewhere in the world), to answer or respond anything about my issue. Then, days weeks and months, waiting for parts due to shipping delays on these pandemic days. Hence, time went on and warranty passed its void date. Needless to say no one acknowledged responsibility and when parts showed up, charges amount the cost of a new machine. Then again, does hardware matter anymore?. For our generation when engineering was sublime, these situations are displeasing and quite frustrating.

In spite of these aggravating situations, finding time for working out issues around notation and illustration, concerning improvisation in open scores. On ``time-scrolling'' representations for a performance, should micro-structures still guide interpretations of composer's intentions? or, should visual gestures give enough information about sequence of events for a performance?. Hoping to see some light soon and in particular for algorithmic solutions that ease the job of this kind of representations.

[ Sat 16 Apr 2022 10:24:12 AM PDT ]

Not a desired performance and technical mishappening: Do bugs distort creativity? or do they supply alternate or parallel ideas?.

Given a concert situation of a digital work: what if a piece is performed at a wrong sampling rate (namely wrong tempo)?. What if a cord is plugged into a wrong input?. What about soldering and causing a short. ``Technology ghosts'' not present at rehearsals usually make their appearance on the actual performance. Never a law of Computer Music but always a given. More generally, a broken string while performing: a mishap? or, devil's finger to start an improvisation. Could this mean a new idea, a different version or a germination process to sprout something without premeditation.

Aside from consolation, bugs happen and stick inside a conscious mind until found. Some are benign but to a great extend, very often they bear head scratching situations. From an expression, or maybe from an aesthetic point of view, and although `bugs' are not intrinsic part of conceiving a work or a piece, one needs to get used to the fact that they circumvent. Not so surprisingly enough, they might become part of an idea. On the artist's framework (spirit), giving up because of a 'weirdness' is trashing or losing an option.

Perhaps aesthetic values needed for developing a gesture or an idea are naive from a scientific perspective and often funneled as illusions or byproducts of imagination, instead of facts. But on many given scenes, imagination triggers ingenuity either for manipulating a brain or to bring a kite down to earth. A deep slope and a skewed trail for creation consists of chaining challenging demands with unknowns, in addition to solutions for inquiries posted by imagination on the creative act. Frequently a composition results of untangling knots and the threading of hits and failures in a narrative for a timed sequence or space.

As Stanford Art's Professor Jenny Odell portraits in regards to productivity and living: Life is not always a vector. ``Things have a myriad of meanings.'' Thus, perfection doesn't need to be an objective. Perfection should be nearer to the act of accomplishment and tallied in the conscience of a creative mind. As per the above, need to acknowledge that some of my compositions still have bugs. Further, some performances have not been completely successful, and my code still buggy on several good algorithms.

Past days instead of coding and bringing down to earth imaginations or ideas for musical gestures, have been debugging code and rethinking old pieces. Some bugs have led to new ideas, but for the most part they keep on being mind-boggling situations. Have re-mixed some pieces and still working on understanding bugs and finding optimal conditions for Ambisonics reverb.

[Thu 19 Mar 2020 03:35:46 PM PDT]

Frameworks for art-music

Frameworks for art-music: on the influences for development of works for new music, art-music and sound art. A recount of trails and influences for languages in use today was researched through works of Xenakis and Salvatore Martirano. Have found that Xenakis' Pour la Paix (1981) and Martirano's L's GA (1967) prevail as works that validate the state of art. Aside from technological accomplishments these works carry on a legacy established by Alban Berg's Lyric Suite and the question of what is it that they express?. A composition, a work, should express more than cause-and-effect in order to prevail. Xenakis and Martirano works reveal different humankind dramas by generating a thread of prejudices that live on the listener's mind as fuel for imagination engines. Findings on these topics have led me to various influences from the University of Illinois but in particular from ``EMS'' or Experimental Music Studio at the Music Department. Have to say that it was there where I materialized my interest on Computer Music, and where I met Xenakis and Martirano in person.


Spectra and Tranversal Sonora November 2016: Final remarks at a composers' gathering

Following are final remarks, and what was forgotten, or simply couldn't be said during a composer's round table that turned out to be a composer's gathering while at Spectra et Transversal Sonora new music venues in Bogota on November 2016. For this purpose Roger Reynolds composer and mentor of mentors is quoted from his book, Mind Models, New Forms of Digital Experience [1], first published more than forty years ago.

The most basic and still expanding capacity of human intelligence is the ability to retain 'images' of experience and to influence subsequent behavior by drawing upon them in the absence of conscious volition.


If we are to to expand the size of our internal and emotional space art -as an integrated individual response to life in a given society- is an efficient agent to this purpose.

Questions of academics, artistic responsibility, aesthetic conscience, dexterities, social duties among others were surfaced a this meeting. Next statement summons a basis for ideas portrayed: Because of synchrony between art ideas and techniques for realizing them, composers today are more than music theory advocates. Implying that modern creation with all means at hand is conceived and perceived on several layers by all senses, and not so constrained to the eyes and ears. As suggested on Reynolds' quote at the beginning, a work should trace an image on the minds of listeners.

If as artists we should assimilate our surroundings, the ability to tackle different domains can pose some complexity. But the sole issue of focusing on 'the image' invites inspiration for inter-and-trans disciplinary cooperation. It might be that we are not so dreaming anymore when we find musical scores representing perspectives, differential equations, vectors, matrices, and etc. -And who said being an artist was an easy way of life.- Quoting R. Reynolds again, It is crucial to develop an understanding of the present expansion of material and means. However, be clear that dexterity on a particular technique might not be enough.

"New music" might not sound sweet to strands of music tastes but this should not restrain artists from efforts to compose new works. If art as a response in a given society, and provided that there is always someone willing to enlarge her/his mental and emotional world through new aesthetic experiences, creators should extend boundaries so that a piece is a remark and listeners are gratified by their own discoveries. A remark on a piece or a work of art might as well be the voice of the unconscious or even the conscious. To make a statement through a piece, the work must be executed, presented and perceived so that the listener apprehends those extended boundaries mentioned before.

[1] Reynolds R., Mind models: new forms of musical experience,First Edition, Praeger,USA, 1975


Expyezp: constructivism avoiding data redundancy

A paper and presentation at BunB(2016) conference describing ExpyeZp, an -all inclusive- collaborative effort aimed towards discussion of new music, science and technology. On its beginnings ExpyeZp was a colloquium and physical gathering evolving through the years into an Internet mailing list and a forum reaching an audience throughout Latinamerica and beyond. On its modus operandi is seeded on the assumption that there are not bad ideas and further no idea is better than other. Consequently interactions and efforts strive on avoiding two or more ideas on the same concept otherwise known as data or information redundancy. This article portraits traditional hacker's postures on community development, confrontation of ideas in constructive mannerisms for building knowledge and ingredients used on development and creation of new forms of arts. [Presentation Slides] [article].


TikiTik performed on TeleMAMM _@_ Radical Chamber

TikiTik performed on TeleMAMM at Radical Chamber series (cámara radical) on the Modern Art Museum of Medellin (MAMM). Telepresence for this piece featuring Elena Fuentes(violin), Simón Castaño(water flute), Miguel Vargas(armonica) and Andrés Sampedro(IT & systems-ad bureaucracy). This tele-concert -first of its class in a private museum on these latitudes-, also featured Simón Castaño's Canción de Mantas for distributed ensembles, Mario Valencia's Mirror for remote percussionists, and Terry Riley's In C. Oscar Ceballos at Caldas University in Manizales(UdeC) and Fernando Mora at Antioquia Univestity in Medellín(UdeA) conducted ensembles consisting of guitars and electric guitars in addition to flutes and percussion. Mario Valencia, Sebastian Castaño and Fernando Mora developed and implemented a MAX/Jitter patch for close-to-real-time visuals among the three remote locations of the concert, namely UdeA, UdeC and MAMM. Jacktrip on Linux and Mac was used for audio over UDP and to connect all concert sites. Audio system at MAMM featured a second-order Ambisonics setup. [2015-11-24]

Restoring old compositions "A curious Character" (curioso caracter)

Some Ampex 456 tapes were baked in order to rescue Curioso Caracter, a Musique Concrète piece done in the early nineties and dedicated to maverick educator Ernesto Bein. At the time a Sony TCD-D10 PRO DAT digital recorder with a stereo microphone was borrowed to record source material at "El Moderno", a school in Bogota on the middle of the prestigious neighborhood of El Nogal. Nevertheless most signal processing was analog using tape manipulation techniques on MCI Recorders and AKG Reverberation plate and spring units. Sound sources for this piece were those of the school between 10:00AM and 12:30PM back in 1990. Worth to point out were bell sounds coming from a nun cloister next to the school which indicated 30 minute intervals. In addition to boys' voices there were pigeon sounds and bird singing. This school housed pigeons in a 'palomar' feeding them every day at 10:00AM. Some of the captured material is taken from students doing these feedings. "Curioso Caracter" though Musique Concrete, today might be tagged as a "Soundscape". [2015-09-15]



This site is an effort to assist on new music creation and edge on the arts. Here we articulate about congruity on junctions with technology, engineering and science, serving as leap over challenges that might appear on unconventional paths.

Here we are not necessarily focusing around aviation. However, and to a great degree, aviation results as a substance of ingenuity and imagination which further embodies aircraft design and flying. An aftermath of flying is a vision of worlds from atop and afar which likewise hinge qualities seldom noticeable on creative minds. Thereby, a concrete and possible intersection among science and the arts by means of technological innovation can be substantiated. We are hoping these pages could be helpful on perusing and conceiving ideas for development of "new" works on music and the arts.

Drawing of a Lockheed L10 "Electra" reminisces on dawning of illusions incarnated from minds "flying high". Thereby, getting on a myriad of perspectives that often illuminate into more ideas and paths.


CCARH, Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities.

CCRMA, Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics.

Modern Art Museum in Medellín

MAMB: Modern Art Museum in Barranquilla

Centro Cultural La Recoleta in Buenos Aires.

Image and Sound Museum in Sao Paulo

Festival in Manizales

SoundWire, Audio over Internet Research.

Julius Smith's Physical Modeling Waveguide Synthesis page.

Craig Sapp's Computer and Musical Resources.

Rick Taube's Introduction to Algorithmic Composition

Miller Puckette's Theory and Techniques of Electronic Music.

Bill Verplank's resources for Human Computer Interaction.

Joe Paradiso's Projects in Musical Interfaces.

Roz Picard's Affective Computing Group.

Perry Cook's Sound Synthesis and Interface Resources.

- Listen to Juan Reyes' "Computer Music" compositions.