by Greg Surges

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The Feld system was designed, in part, to experiment with long-duration works which evolve in a continual fashion and avoid repetitions. Each performance of Feld begins with a small number of pre-compositional decisions (described in greater detail below). After these decisions are made, the system is set into motion and the music evolves from those initial conditions. The system couples custom analog and digital synthesis hardware with a complex DSP network, drives synthesis and signal processing with a suite of compositional algorithms, and performs feature extraction on its own output in order to inform the development of the work. There are many theories about ways in which the computational worth of an art object might be objectively measured, but almost all of them involve a ratio between order and complexity. During the design of Feld, special care was taken to ensure that this balance lead to a satisfying aesthetic experience. Feld was designed to function as an autonomous musical system, and to produce aesthetically pleasing musical output without human intervention. Feld attempts to straddle the midpoint between too much complexity and too much order. This was accomplished in a few ways: by constraining the sound generating materials using hardware, choosing a subset of available sound processing algorithms for each section, a simple but evolving synthesizer patching system, a set of compositional algorithms with their own con- straints, and a self-analysis module that attempts to produce contrasting sections. The sound world of Feld is rich, detailed, and varied without being overwhelming. The gestures and micro-formal details are interesting and have a distinct sense of unity. The large scale form results in a continually evolving experience with both sharp cuts and smooth transitions, which does not become repetitive, and does not overwhelm with novelty.


released October 1, 2012



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Greg Surges Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Greg Surges makes electronic music, software, and hardware. His work has been released on the Stasisfield, Petcord, Wandering Ear, and Digitalbiotope labels, and he is currently a PhD student at the University of California, San Diego. Previously, he earned a MM in Music Composition at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He currently lives in San Diego, CA with his wife and cat. ... more

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