This Was The New Music! Super Dodo 64

Saturday 9 April 2011

Super Dodo 64 is a piece I threw together back in 2000 on a slightly knackered desktop computer (powered by a Cyrix 6×86 processor).

Someone had given me a CD-R filled with dodgy music software, along with several thousand MIDI files from a boatload of various computer games. What on earth are you expected to do with a bunch of video game MIDI files? I used Andrew Culver’s ic program to select certain files by chance, then use chance to extract one instrument track from the file, assign it a new instrument patch, and insert it into a 15-minute composition.

The resulting trainwreck was played through whatever SoundBlaster card was in the computer, using the standard General MIDI set of instrument patches. In the middle of the piece I switched everything over to the percussion channel. The glitches you can hear are down to half a dozen sets of MIDI instructions all sending conflicting demands at once.

  1. Ben.:

    I liked the trainwreck, glitches and all, very much until you made that shift to the percussion channel, introducing a major structural shift that seemed unnecessarily arbitrary in context. Why not either stick with one selection of midi voices throughout or allow some voices to use the percussion throughout as wel? Up your Ergodic, as they say.

  2. Thanks for the comments. At the time I made this I was concerned about the use of undifferentiated chance and its implications for structure and form. I hope my understanding of ergodicity has become more nuanced since then. The piece is ten years old and I have no intention of revisiting this compositional approach in any case.