Monday, January 2, 2017

At the Edge - Suite for Cello Solo


AT THE EDGE
Suite for Cello solo
This is the foreword, introduction and short analysis parts of my recent composition.


FOREWORD


                I travelled from Illinois to San Fransisco to write a computer generated music in 1990 Summer Course of Stanford University's CCRMA lab.

Piece for Computer and 4 Trombones

Its subtitle is 'Death on the Border'.  It is so amazing that now I have similar possibilities  on my table at my Home.

'At the Edge' is the sitution of human being in the world of 2017.  We are at the edge of enormous progress in science and technology, progress that we cannot even imagine.

The vast majority is only being swayed by the progresses that are happening and sometimes getting easily manipulated. 

A moral and social response has to be developed with a special emphasis on education and equal opportunity.

I tried to give a sense of this human situation by the cello performer's unavoidable difficulty while playing 'At the Edge'.



INTRODUCTION



This piece is an open-ended self discussion of what can be done as a computer aided music work.

The computer generated parts are sometimes mixed with manually composed sections.  Sometimes this mixture is done homogenuously, sometimes  heterogenuously.  This is achieved by manually changing/retouching computer generated parts.

The term 'Computer generated' should not mislead you.  Computer generation is based on composition algorithms which are manually programmed so that monotenuous effects are avoided unless it is required to increase tension.

For example an array of 5 notes  A, Gb, E, F, C# may be put into an array and a random number between 0 and 4 generated.  This produces a real randomness effect.  A note may be repeated
a number of times by chance.  This has to be changed, so that a pitch that has been played once may not be played for a couple of throws of the dice.  This is the random repetition depth.  An artificially beautiful randomness appears if repetition depth is increased. The depth decrease helps to increase tension where needed.

It is possible to imitate/approach human manual composition by deliberately changing and manipulating algorithms.  For example, you can put artificial randomness in not only pitch but also
rhytm values, etc.

It is also possible to imitate computer generation by hand but this effort is also limited by the sheer volume of the computer generation.

The computer generation may also be used just to produce the base line like a carpet veawer using a white layer of threads to tie the color nodes on.

Uniqueness and mutation are issues that has to be pondered upon in this approach to music composition.


  
ANALYSIS




Just a few words about the things I was faced with during the composition process of 'AT the Edge':

What is unique?  What is mutated?

Something unique can be differed from others.
Something unique has a unity.
Something unique has an identity.

A truly unique thing is something that can not be mutated.
A truly unique thing exists on its own, with nothing similar to or copied from it.

On the other hand, a mutation is not unique in the presence of an original.

By definition, sound/music is an episodic event queue of frequency, duration.

A melody becomes unique when it is heard for the first time provided that it has a unity.  If a change to the melody mutates  the melody but does not effect its percieved identity it is a non-destructive mutation.

Randomly generated mutations may be limited not to cause (or to cause) destruction of the unique melody.

What happens in the case of a random or limited alleatory melody?  Notes that are not generated according to the fundamental algorithm may destruct the limited alleatory melody depending on a definite condition.  This condition may change according to the character of the original limited alleatory melody.

A limited alleatory melody may be mixed with another melody.  For ex. introduction of constant pitches with constantly seperated instances, may give a unique perception of an atomic character.  Mixing of limited alleatory with a unique melody breaks the randomness, rather balances its effect.




Friday, December 2, 2016

Unutmak Üzerine

UNUTMAK

"Aklımdan silindi gitti."
Bir iş yaparken araya başka bir iş girerse biz ilkini tümüyle unutabiliriz.  Örneğin yemek masasını toplarken kapı çalsa bardağı o an nereye koyduğumuzu unutabiliriz.  Bu working memory içinde bir unutmadır. 

Working memory içinde hatırlama için episodic(zaman ve yerden) ya da semantic (anlamsal, ilişkisel) mekanizmalar yoktur.  Working memory içinde, focus ve concentrate mekanizmaları vardır.  Focus odak belirlendiğinde bir el lambası ışığı gibi belirli bir alanı sınırlayarak güçlendirir  ve odak dışındaki alanları zayıflatır.  Focus yalnız bir bölgeyi öne  çıkartmak değil, aynı zamanda onun haricini maskelemek, bastırmaktır.   Kapı çalınca working memory ona odaklanır ve bardağı koymak gibi basit
 ve otomatik olarak yaptığımız bir olayı bastırır.  Eğer kapı çalmadan önce  o bardak hakkında konuşuyor olsaydık, yani ona focus olmuş ve hatta bir  miktar konsantre olup semantik ilişkilerini bir miktar bağlamış olsak  bardağı koyduğumuz yeri unutmazdık.

 Evden çıkarken kapıyı kapattığımızı unutmak alışkanlığımız varsa, ısrarla  kapıyı kapatırken dikkat edip, kendi kendimize kapattık vb diyerek ezberlemeye  çalışsak bile yine de unutabiliriz.  Bu durum, sık sık geri dönüp kontrol etmek  ihtiyacına dönüşürse konu OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder boyutuna bile  ulaşabilir.  Kapıyı kapatmamız kapatma anında working memory'dedir.  Fakat  bir süre içinde yaşadığımız her olay gibi episodic belleğe yani hem olay  hem de zaman, yer bilgisini saklayan belleğe yazılır. Kapıyı kapattığımızı hatırlamak için ilk yapmamız gereken kapıyı kapattığımız zaman ve yeri düşünmektir.  Evde ya da dışarda kaybettiğimiz bir şeyi bulmak için de aynı yaklaşım geçerlidir.

Hatırlamak hatırlanacak şeyle de ilgilidir.  Episodic bellekte hatırlamak bir nesne ya da olayın gerçekleştiği zaman ve yeri hatırlamaktır.  Bir başka türlü hatırlamak ise kaybolan nesnenin ne olduğunu, başka nesnelerle ilişkilerini düşünmektir.  Bu semantic bellekte bilgi aramaktır aslında.  Bu yüzden remember - hatırlamak episodic bellekle, know - bilmek ile eşleştirilir.

Hatırlanacak şeyin modalitesi resim, ses, kelime, metin, olay vb'de önemlidir.  Örneğin unuttuğunuz bir İngilizce kelimeyi, yaklaşık olarak nasıl seslendirildiğini ve benzerlerini düşünerek hatırlayabilirsiniz.  Burada o kelimenin seslerini hatırlamak(remember) değil anımsamak(recall) söz konusudur.  Kısa dönem ve uzun dönem belleklerimizde ses ve görüntü olarak hatırlayamadığımız fakat benzer bir şey gördüğümüzde çağrışımla anımsadığımız(recall) çok geniş bir bellek kaydı vardır.

Benzer şekilde kapıyı kapattığımızı hatırlama sürecinde, zaman düşündüğümüzde bir an anahtarı döndürürken ki parlama, ya da kapı gözümüzün önüne gelebilir.  Bu bizi kapattığımıza ikna eder.  Güven verir.  Oysa, sözlü referanslar aynı güveni vermeyebilir, eğer çok çok sayıda tekrarla başlı başına bir olay haline gelinceye kadar ezberlenmemişseler.  Sorun, episodic kaydın oluşması için kısa bir süre hiçbir şey düşünmeden o anahtara focus olmanızı gerektirir.  Kısaca, sonradan hatırlayacağınız bir fotoğraf çekmeniz gerekir.  Oysa sözel yaklaşım, episodic değil semantic işlemleri harekete geçirir ve zaman bilgisi olmayan bir kayıt oluşturur.  Bu ise ileride hatırlanmak istendiğinde güven duygusunu  zayıflatır.  Çok güçlü bir hatırlama şekli için saate bakınız ve kısa süre   ilgili bir nesneye  focus olunuz.

Bu bakış açısı ile Türkçe'de bazı sözler:
"Her gördüğüne inanma!"
"Gözümle görmeden inanmam!"
"Gözünün önüne getir!"

Görme ile ilgili ayrı bir yazımı bir süre sonra okuyabilirsiniz.

Ali R+ SARAL


  

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

To See or not.

TO SEE OR NOT

When we see a moving thing,  we see and percieve movement.  In order to see movement we should at least see the object in one position and then in another.  If we do not see the object in its first position namely if we have not seen it before, we will not see the object as moving.

We do not see movement of an object unless we have seen it before.

There is a time lapse, that passes between the initial and current positions of the object.  The more the time lapse the bigger the movement for the same constant speed.

Now, what happens if we diminish the time lapse till the movement  gets down to 0, in limit.bbAnd apply our rule : We do not see movement of an object unless we have seen it before.

We do not see an object unless we have seen it before.

Let's take an example:
Looking at a picture of 5 gentlemen on a photo.  If you do not know one of them or have not seen him before, you will not notice him.  It will appear only as 5 gentlemen to you because you are initiated to gentlemen class in your semantic memory.

An other example:
If you see a modern picture with no specific motive or figure.  It will appear to you as caos unless you are initiated to specific modern art approaches and styles.  If not you will still see lines, colors etc. which do exist in your semantic memory and inherited perception abilities such as 'good continuation'.

A philosophical issue:
Is it possible to see God.  We can not see what we have not seen before.
Nevertheless, like graphical primitives, hard-wired inherited abilities such as good continuation, we can percieve his attributes such as vigilance.

Whether given down or created, God is an important concept in the culture of the human society.  Many functions of God are being performed by human beings in today's world, air traffic control, hospitals, disaster recovery etc.  Special care should be spent to improve the concepts that constitute the attributes of God such as mercy, compassion.



restraint in Hittites

The art is rather 'idealistic' and 'conceptual' in the sense that the artist's aim is not to copy
accurately what he sees before him but to convey with the maximum of clarity what he considers to be the 'essence' of what he is carving.

in this case the figures (of Tudhaliyas IV and his personal deity) are superposed with the god standing
alongside the king, and the scale of the two is arranged so that the god, instead of holding the
usual weapon in his left hand, clasps the right wrist of the king in a protective embrace.

O. R. Gurney, THE HITTITES


'Of all manifestations of power, restraint is respected most.'
Genral, Powell, Gulf War General Commabder of USA.

Sanırım, Batı'nın bize karşı aldığı tavır yalnızca basit bir düşmanlıktan öte
yaklaşım farklılığından da kaynaklanıyor.Biz savaşa giderken davul zurna ile gitmek
geleneğine dayanıyoruz...  Onlar sakınarak, gücünü iyi hesaplayarak...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

On the Perception of Unidentified Entities


We can identify things that we percieve.  This does not mean that we do not

percieve things that we can not identify.

 

If the input perturbation is too small, we can not hear, see etc., identify the entity.

For example, in an orchestra, it is impossible for every violin player in the violin

section to play exactly the same color, pitch namely the sound.  It is impossible

for us, the listener to hear each performer's different sound but instead we hear the

rich, deep sound of the violin section, rather than the week sound of a single violin.

 

We percieve the minute differences in the violin section as a feeling, a warmth,

richness and depth.  We percieve small changes that can not be identified not

cognitively but emotionally.

 

This may be the reason why small changes are frequently used in music performances.

The key here is to make the change, for ex. a temporary tempo change, in such a way

that it can barely be heard but can not be identified or noticed, though can be

percieved emotionally.

 

The entities that are unidentified include not only very small values but also

unmeasurable continuous quantities.  This varies from the perception of physical

values of heat, light etc. to the social values such as risk, friendness etc.

 

The languages include words such as hot, cold, very hot, bright etc. or dangerous,

true friend etc. words to describe these entities.  If paid attention one can notice

that these are all emotion related words or concepts.

 

The reason that an entity is unidentified may be related to the modality of the

perception.  We cannot identify quantitatively any visual input.  We cannot

identify something if it is the first time we see it.

 

Color, hue, brightness etc. light attributes are all unmeasurable continuous values.

It is impossible to identify them objectively.  We cannot remember a view if it

is not identified in the related semantical memory.  We can only recall that view

if we see it again.  Namely,  we can remember a view only if it is recorded as

part of an event in the episodic memory.

 

Aural modality has some similarities with visual modality.  Timbre, loudness,

tempo, etc. many parameters are continuous unidentifiable values, except pitch.

Instrumental music can mostly not go to episodic memory.  There is a window of

attention of the listener which slides through the music piece which builds a

balance of recalled elements and freshness.  The unity of the piece is achieved

through making small or unidentifiable changes of the initial material.  The

listener can percieve this emotionally rather than cognitively.

 

This is the reason that music expresses things that words cannot.  Music touches

the heart through feelings aroused by unidentified entities.

 

 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Role of Belief in Cognition


The Role of Belief in Cognition

 

There are working, episodic and semantic memories in our brain among others.  It is not very clear whether these are completely seperate regions in our brain.  They can be easily detected functionally. 

Working memory is the memory we use when we are actually thinking or talking.  Episodic memory holds the information related to events and when/where they occur.  Semantic memory holds the abtracted concepts/knowledge.

An event first happens in the working memory, then it is recorded in the episodic memory.  If there is a knowledge that can be deducted, it is recorded in the semantic memory.

The semantic memory is specially organised so that generalization and instantiation can be done automatically.  For example we do not think too much to say an eagle flies.  In the semantic  tree, eagle is connected to bird and bird is connected  to flying animal and that to animal.  How the information is stored in our brain is possibly related with the formation of connections during the perception and further processing. It is not a surprise that categorical subject test have shown regions close to the perception/subject specialization.

When some concept is being inserted to the semantic memory, an appropriate location in the semantic tree is searched.  Actually this may be an innate procedure that is done automatically while forming new connections.  The crux of the issue is how it is established that a connection of the eagle to the bird occur. 

The context of the word eagle may establish the relation of eagle to bird if the context of the bird is similar to the eagle.  The more the contexts' similarity the better.  The better what? We answer this what question as: Belief.

The more the new item, the new leaf fits into the semantic tree the more it is confident.  On the other hand, the more confident the leafs of a semantic tree, the more confident it is.

Schachter says in his 'Memory, Brain and Belief', "I use the term 'belief' when I use the attribution of truth value to a particular thought content, either percieved of recalled."

The semantic tree holds not only the data items but also their belief factors. Harold Pashler says in his 'Encyclopedia of the Mind', "An alternative answer to the question of what justifies memory beliefs turns on the idea that memory is preservative not just respect to the content of beliefs but also with respect to their justification".

Belief helps us to feel our thoughts.
Belief is how we sense our brain.

 
Ali R+ SARAL

Thursday, December 3, 2015

RUMI CANTATA lyrics and structure

Good news! My new work, RUMI CANTATA has completed the sketching phase. I am beginning to write the score now.


RUMI CANTATA is a religious cantata in the form and style of a BACH Cantata. It is for soloists (SATB) and a small SATB choir accompanied by a small string orchestra + oboe + flute.


It is based on 6 poems from:
Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi'de Seçme Rübailer
Türkçeleştiren: Talat Sait HALMAN


The piece is written with modern notation (Serocki - Ligeti) but with a strong modal flavour. The transitions from modal to atonal and vice versa are studied and experimented carefully.


1st movement is for choir + strings (Huseyni)
2nd movement is for tenor solo + vcl + CB recitative (Hicaz)
3rd movement is for soprano + alto soli + vln + vcl + CB + oboe aria (Karcihar)
4th movement is for basso solo + vcl + CB + flute recitative arioso (Kürdi)
5th movement is for alto + tenor soli + string orchestra + oboe aria (Suzinak)
6th movement is for SATB soli + choir + string orchestra + flute + oboe (Huseyni)


Modal chords is sometimes used as only colors without functionality. They are sometimes used with functional relations also.  I produced the text by choosing the poems in such a way that they could comply with the function and form of a BACH cantata.


It seems there is at least 2-3 months more to see the my final work. I hope you enjoy the text. Both texts may be altered a bit during the composition process. I am not happy about the English text but the composition will be done for both languages at the same time. This restricts the location of words etc. because of the prosodi.


Regards.


Ali R+ SARAL


RUMI CANTATA
1
Bir can vardır: Düşünce güç sağlar ona,
Bir başka can ormandaki bir arslana.
Dikkat et! Bir baltaya benzer düşünü;
Çok fazla düşünme: vurmasın balta sana.
2
And içtim: Çıkmadıkça kalbimden can,
Şaşmam tek yönden çıkmam düz yoldan.
Derken sağa baktım, sola baktım: Hep o var.
Hep sevgili çıktı... çekti sağdan soldan.
3
Gönlümdeki iç ve dış O'dur, bende can O.
Gövdem, damarım, ruhum, O'dur. Bende kan O.
Tek Tanrı'ya, çok Tanrı'ya tapmak bir mi?
Bak, benzeri yok varlığımın: Var olan O.
4
Peyda olurum, saklanırım, işte buyum;
Müslüman, Hiristiyan, Musevi olurum.
Kalbim yerleşsin diye her bir yüreğe,
Ben kendime hergün yeni bir yüz bulurum.
5
Ey dost, sana candan yakınız aşk duyarak;
Sen nerde yürürsen orda olduk toprak,
Aşk mezhebinin cilvesi: Görmek sende
Tüm evreni - ancak sana hep kör kalmak.
6
Dünyada ve ahrette O var, bir tek O var;
Tek taptığımız O. Sahte tüm varlıklar:
Gökler de yalan, güneş de; bağ bahçe yalan.
Her sözde, her anlamda O tek gerçek, O var.
-------------------------------------------
1
A soul exists: Thinking gives strength to it
An other soul to the lion in the forest.
Be careful! Thinking is like an axe;
Don't think too much: may axe not hurt you.
2
I swear: Unless my soul leaves my heart,
I won't change my direction, I won't leave the straight way.
Then I looked right, and the left: It is always the same thing.
It's always the beloved... pulled me from right or left.
3
My soul's in and out is It, my soul is It.
My body, my vein, my spirit is It. My blood is It.
To a single God, to many Gods, is it the same to believe?
Look, my existence has no similar: what exists is It.
4
I appear, I disappear, I am this;
Muslim, Christian, Jew, I become.
May my heart find place in every heart,
I find everyday to me a new face.
5
Lo friend, we are closer than souls, feeling love;
Wherever you walk we were there the soil.
The game of love sect is: To see in you
The whole cosmos but remain blind to you.
6
It exists in the world and eternity, only It exists.
The only thing we believe in is It. False are all the creatures:
Lie are the skies, lie is the sun; Lie are fields, wineyards.
In every word, in every meaning, It is the single reality, It is.