Indeterminate Music

My scholarly research focuses on the performance practice of twentieth-century experimental music, with a particular focus on improvisatory and indeterminate works. I am especially interested in how notation, performance practice, and technology intersect to shape musical realizations of works by composers like Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, Anthony Braxton, and Earle Brown.

The topics covered in my blog often dovetail with my research interests.

My dissertation explores the limits and possibilities of performance of the music of John Cage and Earle Brown.

In this article, I use statistical methods to describe recurring tendencies in the music of the composer John Cage, whose works are often regarded as "random." In another article, I transcribe and compare three performances of the same composition by Earle Brown to better understand the role of the conductor in Brown's "open form" works.

I also created software that allows you to generate random and customized performances of Four2, the piece discussed in the article. You can download the latest version here as a Max patch. (Even if you haven't purchased Max, you can download and use it to open existing patches for free. Download it here.)

Selected Publications

Spaces for People: Technology, Improvisation, and Social Interaction in the Music of Pauline Oliveros. Organised Sound (forthcoming)

Earle Brown and the Minimalist Dialectic. Perspectives of New Music (forthcoming)

(Per)forming Open Form: A Case Study with Earle Brown’s Novara. Music Theory Online 26/3 (2020)

“What can they have to do with one another?”: Approaches to Analysis and Performance in John Cage’s Four2. Music Theory Online 23/4 (2017)

Virtual Scores

I have developed several virtual score platforms for live performance using real-time notation. The most widely used is Indra.

  • Circles (2017)
  • Trace (2016)
  • Les sphères englobantes (2014)

 Software and Downloads

JSFX Plug-Ins
I have made a handful of JSFX plug-ins for Cockos Reaper:

To install:

  1. Download the JSFX plug-in as a text file (Save Link As... or copy to a new text file).
  2. Open Reaper.
  3. In the main menu, select Options -> Show REAPER resource path in explorer/finder...
  4. Move the plug-in text file into the Effects folder.

Or visit me on GitHub!

Max Abstractions
Click here to download my collection of Max abstractions (da.abstractions). Unzip and move to your patches folder, or another location recognized through the File Preferences.