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The gift of the algorithm: beyond autonomy and control

Chamberlain, Alan; De Roure, David


David De Roure


This piece brings together, participation, algorithmic composition and augmentation (as a mechanism by which people can work together to augment and support a composer’s workflow). The performance is about understanding the ways in which composition and performance can be understood, socially, aesthetically and scientifically. This performance becomes a piece of research and design in its own right, a more experimental manifestation of HCI, but it also demonstrates and disrupts conventional production and performance by making the multiple layers of practice and provenance obvious. *See Program notes for a fuller description of the piece for public consumption. We also aim to discuss this further and demo at the Performance workshop that we have submitted.

This is part the on going research of the FAST project and aims to engage the wider interdisciplinary Audio Mostly community.

• Program notes
This piece expands upon Chamberlain’s work into compositional practices that explore autonomy and control, and builds upon the Numbers into Notes system as developed by De Roure. The piece (which is an evolving work) uses the symbolism of the gift to frame parts of the interactions that have occurred in the development of the piece. Individuals are given the chance to create an algorithm. This is made into a physical entity (containing a sequence), which is then gifted to the composer; these together are combined and used to compose a piece. The piece is then performed and given back to the audience (live), of which some members have created the original algorithms. The performance creates a gift, a souvenir, a memento of the experience which some of the audience members can take away. The performance also acts as a way in which we can also understand the interplay between algorithms, art, performance, provenance and participation.


Chamberlain, A., & De Roure, D. (2017). The gift of the algorithm: beyond autonomy and control

Other Type Composition
Acceptance Date Jun 5, 2017
Publication Date Aug 25, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2017
Publicly Available Date Sep 14, 2017
Keywords Autonomy, Control, Agency, Music, Composition, Technology
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:
Additional Information Alan Chamberlain - “The Gift of the Algorithm: Beyond Autonomy and Control” Software developed by David De Roure. Audio Mostly 2017: Augmented and Participatory Sound/Music Experiences, 23-26 August. Queen Mary University of London (London, UK) - Performance. Performed at Oxford House, London, 25 August 2017.

Composition Type: Music - Digital, Experimental


Gift Performance.pdf (141 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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