Conference paper Open Access

Politics I

Eric Lemmon

Politics I is a new work of participatory and web-based computer music that explores concerns about the audience as a political public. Aiming to reveal the politics within musical creation, Politics I integrates composition with natural language processing techniques and digitally synthesizes music based on the content of textual inputs from the audience. The textual inputs are submitted via text message or tweet using Twilio’s enterprise messaging service API and Twitter’s API. Through SuperCollider, Ableton Live, Processing, and Python, the resulting musical work makes audible the process by which aesthetic power is shared within participatory musical spaces. The work draws upon the commonly deployed Model-View-Controller software design pattern in a flask-based web application to sonify submitted texts as “views” and simultaneously responds to users with text messages and tweets describing how their texts impacted to sound of the work. At the same time, the messages are rendered to a screen through a Processing sketch that is projected to the front of the house. The work has three movements: Digital Discourse, Cybernetic Republic, and Technoautocracy, which each mediate the audience’s politics of aesthetic preference in unique ways.

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