Zexuan Qiao


Quantum Quantz (2020). Musicians and makers are always experimenting with the ability to extend their instruments. With additive manufacturing technology, it is now possible to extend the sounding range of a set of small-pipes without disturbing its original playing style. As a result of this extension, new musical compositions are required for smallpipe performance. Composers have played with algorithmic compositional techniques for centuries. Can machine learning algorithms generate new musical scores for these new extended instruments? Using MusicVAE, a machine learning model for generating musical scores, Mrs MacLeod of Raasay from Niel Gow collection is artificially reconstructed. Music pieces are more often written in a few keys, because musicians and composers prefer them for the playability and instrument’s capability. Without any of the instrument’s limitations influencing the creation of the score, could the generated compositions challenge the players to play differently? This project explores a range of historically informed musical compositions for a range of newly extended small-pipes.