Martin Parker


Auto-route starts off with a live sound source, what follows is an automated response to the sound and information about that sound.  The response continues to eat itself until the concert organisers turn the machine off, the computer crashes or the feedback loops inside the system result in silence or white noise.

This piece attempts to illustrate what arbitrary, non-sentient but controlled music can sound like.   The piece runs on terms defined by the computer itself, makes its own decisions based on criteria that it invents as time passes but that are based on data extracted from the live input. Like most improvisations, initial musical ideas are first considered but shortly after this period, the machine begins to explore material dynamically, chewing on its own matter, quickly becoming self-referential and eventually running out of energy or coruscating into maximal debris.

Auto Route has been performed in several incarnations. A version was made for the Glasgow-based video artist Rob Kennedy and performed at Machinista in Glasgow in 2004. Two other versions have been made and performed without the composer present; once on a tourist boat trip in Belfast as part of the Sonorities festival, the other was performed in Newcastle by Mark Summers (Viol) and the Palindrome dance company.

The recording presented here was generated from a Marais Fantasie performed by Mark Summers (Viol) for whom the piece was written.

The input source : Fantasie 41 by Marin Marais for solo viol performed by Mark Summers: