[FISEA’93] Artist Statement: Harold Fortuin – Branchings (Computer generated)

Artist Statement

Branchings(1993) is composed for Macintosh computer using the Performer sequencer for playback on the Kurzweil K2000. The composition explores performance capabilities unique to the computer. Like earlier pieces by Fortuin, Untitled #3 and Untitled #4,  Branchings explores the aural space between monophony and polyphony with “branching” voices, which branch away from and back to central hyperbola-rhythm voices, both in terms of note attack times and pitches. To expedite the calculation process (to create both the hypebola-derived materials and to generate the rhythmic branchings), a program Curvaceous, written in the C language and which outputs to multi-track standard MIDI sequencer files, is used. ln addition to standard twelve-notes-per-octave equal temperament tuning, the piece uses a thirty-note-per-octave equal temperament tuning as well as glissandos (the branchings are applied to these materials as well). To take advantage of the K2000’s built-in-effects processor, the piece makes use of different reverberation settings as a developmentaltechnique.

During FISEA93’s poster sessions, Fortuin will demonstrate these and other capabilities, and show how the program Curvaceous can generate materials which straddle the borderlines of pitch and rhythmic perception. He will also discuss how these processes are now being used to create pieces for live performers.

  • Harold Fortuin, born in 1964 in Mt. Clemens, Michigan (USA), has degrees from the Royal Conservatory of Music of Toronto, Wayne State University and Michigan State University, where he was a Dean’s Recruitment Fellow. Due to an OHS award from the British government, he is continuing his computer music research and composition under Graham Hair and Stephen Arnold at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, where he held lectureship in composition and music technology in 1991-92. He has also taught composition at Olivet College, and composition, music theory and electronic and computer music at Michigan State University. His compositions encompass instrumental and vocal chamber music, orchestral and electronic work, film music, and music theater. His commercially available works include Extremities for large orchestra, released on Vienna Modern Masters (VMM #3003), Untitled #4: The Adventures of Smiley the Bullfrog for sequencer and synthesizers (Independent Music Networks “Difficult Listening Hour” sampler), and Epitaph for alto saxophone and piano (Dom Publications).