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Generative Music 1 (Eno, Brian), 1996

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played, and only by playing can one experience the perpetual surprises. Game of Life is very highly regarded among the rule-dependent designs and has gained a cult status among very different groups of users. Its rules interested mathematicians, the clarity of design attracted many of an artistic persuasion and, last but not least, the players were enthusiastic. A great many computer programmes were developed that copied Game of Life, and during the seventies and eighties it caught the attention of many computer users. The life spans and graphic forms of the most varied populations of cells were observed and analysed. Alongside the short-lived organisms, stable populations develop from connections made with two or three neighbouring cells_these Conway referred to as still lifes. The constellations were systematically given names like Blinker, Glider or Eater. From the meetings of such constellations, glider guns for example, can develop after thirty generations. There were numerous investigations, some of which continued down to the 1,102nd generation, reported a stable population and described it in detail. The fascination of the game was to be found both in its


complexity and its predictable unpredictability. Game of Life made it possible to subordinate graphic aspects to a continuous system and, in so doing, to generate forms independent of the individual: this was achieved by basing it on an algorithm modelled on the life cycle. For many of the artists who became involved with generative methodology, Conway's Game of Life represented a comprehensible starting point. In March 2001, the interdisciplinary artist Brian Eno gave a lecture on his method of composition with reference to Conway's Game of Life at the London ICA and introduced the term generative to the music scene. His work Generative Music 1 was first performed in 1996 at the Urban Aboriginals XI Festival in the Parochial Church in Berlin. With Generative Music 1 , Eno, who had already created important works featuring varying changeable sounds for his ambient music in the mid-seventies, reduced the task of the composer to defining the connection between sound and individual parameters, and the choice of the available sound characteristics. The implementation of generative music allowed the technical development of commercial software[16],

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