Can language be evolved from randomness?
Do clouds have tempo?
Can fire listen and respond to melody?
Do you need a surf band to make surf music?
Composer Joel Mellin explores questions like these. Since leaving his job as a NASA satellite engineer in the late 1990s, he's been using computers to realize new musical ideas, going beyond the now commonplace electronic instruments of the last century. He creates innovative digital music systems using Genetic Algorithms and sonar based instrument controllers for real-time performance, taking computer music far beyond simple loop-making and recording His compositions have been heard in performances from the Feldman Gallery in Soho to, most recently, the Dublin Dance Festival in Ireland.
"Computers can provide an abstract framework, completing tasks humans can't do," explains Mellin. "I find this liberating. I'm free to explore musical ideas that'd be impossible with traditional musicianship and written composition."