Nat Jeanneret aka “funnel”, the musician and artist behind the CDM site design, has been busy at work on a new project: creating music my scoring those little spots of gum and dirt found on a train platform. It’s a great example of aleatoric music, not in the best-known sense of “pure” chance but in reflecting the patterns found in the world around the composer.

Nat has made a video, as well, in which you can watch him convert bubble gum-on-platform music to Sibelius digital notation. It’s the ultimate digital music, in a way: the analog (erm, disgusting old bubble gum) is overlaid on a real-world grid (the lines of the platform) and quantized to 5-line staff notation.

Full details from Nat:

Aleatoric Music Composition [onetonnemusic]
Aleatoric Composition… THE MOVIE! [onetonnemusic]

Composers out there, if you’ve ever done anything similar, we’d love to hear about it.

  • pbs has an ad that is similar called 'birds'….
    i have always used prime numbers and mathematical eqautions in compositions as bits of randomness. i think this kind of improv is great.

  • David

    I picked up on this idea – I've scored a composition by hopping on the 'D' train and plotting all the people who don't get up for eldery persons, all the people that sit with their legs wide apart so there's no room for anyone else, and all the people who forget to use deoderant when its 95 degrees and humid. I think I have a hit!

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