This work is an interactive composition: the live performers play composed music, while a computer system, monitoring the performance with microphones, creates new music in response. The real-time computer music system produces musical accompaniment with various synthesis methods, as well as processed micro-samples captured from the microphones. Rhythms and melodies generated by the computer system are, at times, pre-composed, and other times, generated algorithmically in response to the performers.
The title of this work is taken from Allen Ginsberg, a poet whose observations of the last century have a growing relevance in the beginning of this century.
This work takes its title from section II of Allen Ginsberg's 1956 "Howl", in which the author asks, "What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination? / Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!" Ginsberg uses Moloch, an ancient deity whose worship required the sacrifice of children, as an icon for the sickness of the modern mind.
This work opposes the Molochian hegemony through the development of polyrhythm and cyclical form. The odaiko (big drum), shime-daiko, and chappa (hand cymbals) are combined with digital sounds produced from other instruments of the taiko ensemble. These sounds are composed, processed, and synthesized through various tools including the algorithmic composition system athenaCL. Additional processing and synthesis is done with Csound, Max/MSP, SoundHack, and various other software and hardware.
This work is an exploration of heterophony and ornamentation, employing specialized algorithms created for the algorithmic composition system athenaCL. Additional processing and synthesis is done with Csound, Max/MSP, SoundHack, and various other software and hardware. The title refers to the swarm-like cultural instinct to follow.
Wynn Yamami, odaiko, performing "moloch whose name is the mind" on 6 May 2003. More information.