Creative Systems Project

Module code: W3093
Level 6
30 credits in autumn semester
Teaching method: Workshop
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module explores the creative application of generative systems in software and hardware, culminating in the creation of a robot orchestra.

Through exploring key topics of generative art (stochastic processes, rule based systems, automata, intelligent systems, physical computing, hacking, circuit bending, data art and robotic art), you will gain the necessary skills required to build your own physical or audiovisual system that contributes to the robot orchestra.

The module will base the practical work on a historical study of artistic and creative use of systems, processes and algorithms in musical composition and generative arts. Historical practices and techniques will be introduced in a mix of lectures and hands-on workshop sessions.

The module has a strong practical component. Ideas and methods will be introduced in Pure Data and Max/MSP, but you will be supported in carrying out your personal projects in a range of languages including, SuperCollider, Processing, JavaScript, Web Audio, etc.

You will also learn more advanced electronics and hardware-building using microcontrollers, such as Arduino, including the use of motors, and the Arduino audio processing audio library, Mozzie. The module's assessment is individual, but you will be working with a group of fellow students from week 4 in building a robotic band, of which your piece is a component.

Prerequisite: CMT or equivalent experience and knowledge of Max/MSP or Pure Data.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate practical music technology skills necessary for the design and realisation of a creative music system, using software and/or hardware.
  • Show historical, theoretical and aesthetic understanding of the fields of NIME (New Instruments for Musical Expression) or generative music.
  • Demonstrate understanding of Practice Research methods, and apply them to a substantial creative project.
  • Critically evaluate contemporary research in music technology, as applied to individual creative work.
  • Demonstrate skills in independent research, particularly in the development of personal music practice.