Solo Music No. 2 for Unaccompanied Violin (1998)

The first and third short movements of Solo Music No. 2 for Unaccompanied Violin are nearly identical and were freely composed. Their American folk-like simplicity provides a familiar ground in which the longer second movement is referenced. 

The second movement contains the substance of the piece.  It is formed by twelve connected sections each containing a melodic theme.  These twelve themes were written by the composer then input into a database where they were selected and modified by a computer program also written by the composer.  Interspersed are additional patterns the computer chose. The music that was generated was converted to conventional musical notation.  The computer is programmed to select short, independent sequences or patterns based on primary elements of musical texture (such as pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, rhythm, articulation, etc.), each with a unique musical identity.  These basic elements of texture, which transcend musical cultures, styles, or idioms, are combined to form various repeated patterns:  ascending and descending, rhythmic, melodic, varied, and contrasting.  Within a single section the program may select from over 100 different musical options, or algorithms. These mini-sequences or sound groups, complete in themselves, are then strung together within the program to form the various sections.  In general, the music is intended to provoke the listener to imagine events in the world as a series of unique and discrete patterns, which occur in a variety of forms, at different times, and at different orders of magnitude and scale.  

In this work the performer has the liberty to insert dynamics, articulations (bowings), style, coloring and character.  In this instance the composer and performer collaborated on the character selections, a particular pleasure for each, as they are siblings.  So the work is an integration of freely composed and computer-generated music and an integration of composer and performer.