Category Archives: Music Composition

Music composition activity of David Hirst

Job-ready Discussion Paper Analysis

The Australian Government Education Minister Dan Tehan recently announced a new funding model proposal for 2021 for Universities in Australia, and published the “Job-ready Graduates Discussion Paper” on 19 June 2020. I have collated and analysed some of the data from that paper and prepared a PDF document with additional data here.

Student funding contributions and Government contributions are compared for the different disciplines for 2021. Firstly using the current funding model, then using a proposed new funding model that is released for discussion.

The major change for students at one extreme means they will have to pay for 93% of their degree studies, which is a 28% increase for Law and Economics students and a massive 113% increase for many Humanities students (Social Studies, Political Science, Behavioural Science, Philosophy, History, and Communications). At the other extreme, Agriculture students will only pay 12%, Nursing and Languages 18% of their education. That represents a reduction of 62% in fees for Agriculture students and 46% reduction for Nursing and Languages.

Government funding has seen a reduction of between 82% and 92% for most of the Humanities, a reduction of 51% for Law, Economics, Management and Commerce. Reductions of 14% for Science and Engineering, and 33% for Environmental Studies. A massive increase of 117% to English, plus generous increases to Maths, Other Health, Architecture, IT (all 23%), Languages (22%), Teaching (18%), and more modest increases to Nursing (9%), Agriculture, Medical, Dental, and Veterinary Science (all 10%). There is no change to Government funding proposed for Clinical Psychology, Allied Health, or Creative Arts.

The “Job-ready Graduates Discussion Paper” is available here.

The current funding arrangements for 2020 can be found here.

 

Pierre and Frank Part 2

Pierre and Frank is dedicated to two of the most original composers of the twentieth century: Pierre Boulez and Frank Zappa. Although their life trajectories were quite different, one an orchestral conductor and the other a rock musician, their paths crossed through their compositional activities. Pierre Boulez founded the French research institute IRCAM in 1977 and conducted several tracks on the Zappa album The Perfect Stranger in 1984.
Part 2 (Frank) uses drums, bass, and a lead instrument in a form that begins with a solid drum back beat, then morphs into a duet between drums (percussion) and lead instruments, followed by a duet between lead and bass, before a final return to solid drum beat, bass line and lead synths.
[Frank Zappa picture by Jean-Juc: The image file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license]

Pierre and Frank Part 1

Pierre and Frank is dedicated to two of the most original composers of the twentieth century: Pierre Boulez and Frank Zappa. Although their life trajectories were quite different, one an orchestral conductor and the other a rock musician, their paths crossed through their compositional activities. Pierre Boulez founded the French research institute IRCAM in 1977 and conducted several tracks on the Zappa album The Perfect Stranger in 1984.
Part 1 (Pierre) is a more homogenous electronic style work, which is not really an emulation of a Boulez piece, but is a nod to his use of electronics.

Sonochrome I

Sonochrome I (2019) A “video music” art work first screened at the “Seensound” event in October at the Loop Project Space in Melbourne. This piece continues my work using music to activate moving imagery using the visual programming language Max/MSP/Jitter to create the images and sound, which then interact with each other.

Sonochrome I Excerpt from David Hirst on Vimeo.

The Portuguese Suite

The 8 channel version of my electroacoutic music piece The Portuguese Suite was performed at the Australasian Computer Music Conference held in Melbourne in July 2019 in conjunction with the 2019 TENOR Conference at Monash University. You can listen to a stereo version on Soundcloud here.

The Portuguese Suite follows on from the piece Imaginação de Viseu (Imaginations of Viseu) which was composed for the project: SONIC EXPLORATIONS OF A RURAL ARCHIVE – Electroacoustic Music and Sound Art International Competition, coordinated by Binaural/Nodar (Portugal). That work used sound sources recorded in the rural region of Viseu Dão Lafões in Portugal. The Portuguese Suite takes some of the sounds from the previous piece and processes them into purely abstract sounds using two suites of tools I developed in 2017 for Max/MSP. The first suite of tools is called NES-Tools, and processes sound in the time domain. The second suite of tools, NES-Spectrale, processes the frequency domain representation, and builds on the work of Jean-François Charles (2011). This version has been especially mixed and mastered for  8 channels using the Ambisonics Toolkit (ATK) from the University of Washington.

NES Max for Live

I have  ported over a selection of the NES-Tools and NES-Spectrale suites as Max for Live devices. The NES-Tools suite processes audio in the time domain and NES-Spectrale suite processes the FFT representation of sound in the frequency domain. Most of the Max for Live devices function as audio signal processors, but two of them process the FFTs of sounds, and one functions as a granular production instrument.

NES-Max-for-Live is available for free from the software page.

NES-Interpolate

NOTE:

  • The devices have only been tested with Ableton Live 10 and Max/MSP 8
  • Special care has been taken to make the devices below capable of multiple, independent instances in Live. Here is a list of them:

NES-Biquad.amxd

NES-CombFilter5.amxd

NES-DelayTaps.amxd

NES-DopplerPan.amxd

NES-Interpolate.amxd

NES-PitchEcho.amxd

NES-Resons32.amxd

NES-SpectralDelayDistort.amxd

NES-Brassage02.amxd

NES-Spectrale Updated to Beta-02-2019

NES-Spectrale-Beta-02-2019 has two updates from version Beta 01:

  • A stereo version of NES-Interpolate has been created as NES-Interpolate-periodic-02-ST
  • A new process of NES-Distort-Del-Fbk has been added

This software consists of Max patchers that process the FFT of a recorded sound. Available to download free from the software page.

Composers Little Helper

CLH-Treatment-05

The Composer’s Little Helper (CLH) is a Max patcher that makes use of the “Bach” and “Cage” libraries to manipulate and mix musical notation that has been saved in a “shelf” as separate segments. CLH implements musical operations such as transposition, inversion, retrograde, plus a number of other “treatments” that use the high-level “Cage” library for real-time computer- aided composition.

This version is the version that was show-cased at the Australasian Computer Music Conference 2018 in Perth. The Max code is available from the software page.