Category Archives: Music Composition

Music composition activity of David Hirst

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