Nick Collins is currently Lecturer in Music Informatics at the University of Sussex, and will be taking up the position of Reader in Composition at Durham University this September. His research interests include live computer music, musical artificial intelligence, and computational musicology, and he is a frequent international performer as composer-programmer-pianist. His latest book, co-written with Margaret Schedel and Scott Wilson, is the volume on Electronic Music in the Cambridge University Press Introductions series, released May 2013. Further details, including publications, music, code and more, are available from:
For live coding of Disklavier and eventual human pianist
This piece allows live re-composition of an existing work of Robert Schumann, remixing it for the affordances of player piano. The particular target work chosen here is the third study from the Symphonic Studies (Op. 13). Schumann’s materials are transformed in their pitch and time structure under live coding intervention: the live coder has facility to write arbitrary functions for transformation of pitch materials (including multiplication from single notes to arrays) and pitch dependent time delays. This allows highly abstract, inhumanly fast and dense transformations to be juxtaposed with the original piece. At the close of the work, the live coder sets up the Disklavier to a state where they can perform a short extract of the original work live on top of the transformed piece.
Since the live coding system built to support this piece could start with any MIDI File, future variations might include Clavinova Schumann, Luigi Bioniccherini and Alessandroid Scarlatti.