Lejaren Hiller – Algorithms I, Version 1 (1968)


I. The Decay of lnformation
II. Icosahedron
Ill. The Incorporation of Constraints

The first movement of Algorithms I is stochastic music in which the melodic lines become progressively more dependent upon previous pitch and rhythm choices. The second movement is a complete serial composition in which all row permutations are used once each; also, rhythmic choices are least organized at its beginning and end and most organized in its center. In the third movement, controls of vertical sonorities, of melodic motion, of resolutions of dissonant chords, of rhythmic patterns and of cadential structures are progressively introduced.

All the music, both instrumental and electronic, was composed on an IBM-7094 computer. In addition, the sounds in the two tape channels were produced by digital-to-analog conversion on the Illiac II computer. Additional details concerning this composition are published in an article in “Music by Computers”, edited by H. von Foerster and J. W. Beauchamp, published by John Wiley and Sons. New York.

Art by Indre Martinkiene


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