AR projects at MMM – past and present

It is our firm opinion that the field of computer music provides an exceptionally fertile ground for many different experiments in artistic research. The unprecedented potential for exquisite control of any and every musical parameter, the ease of collecting the data, possibility to automate great many “tedious” processes and, should the composer/researcher wish it so, an open option to quickly generate many iterations of a single idea – these are all the qualities that are making computer music one of the best practice scenarios for artistic research. One might even call these two siblings – both thriving in the same precarious point between science and art, trying to balance the often conflicting tendencies of the two – control and freedom, objectivity and subjectivity, order and chaos… To illustrate our viewpoint, we will present some of the projects already and/or currently being developed here at MMM. But no story is complete without its main actor – so let’s start with that.

                The importance of having Prof. Dr. Georg Hajdu as the head of Multimedia department simply can not be overstated. Part artist, part scientist, he obtained diplomas in molecular biology and composition, but decided to leave biology and dedicate himself entirely to composition. He obtained his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley and worked closely with the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). A person of wide interests, in possession of both the insatiable thirst for knowledge and the intellect to support it, Hajdu is the driving force behind many projects. Ever since he established Germany’s first master’s program in multimedia composition in 2004, Hajdu has been guiding his students along paths of self-discovery, re-evaluation and critical reflection, all the time exposing them to most various and remarkable subjects: from programming languages to cognitive sciences, from new and ever evolving techniques of multimedia composition to the philosophical discussions on the semiotics and semantics in music and language; and more.

Without ever being referred to as such, the program under his guidance has been an artistic research program from the very start.

Swan Song (2011) for cello, percussion, real-time audio and video from Georg Hajdu on Vimeo.