Fully Automated Luxury Composition


  • Paul Wolinski University of Huddersfield


Utopia, Generative Music, Automation


This practice-based research attempts to answer the question of how utopian thinking might be applied to popular music composition. It begins by looking at automation, utopia and the utopian impulse and how they compliment as well as conflict with understandings of popular music. A methodology is established using automated, generative music techniques, based on Attali’s ideas of a future mode of composition where anyone can produce streams of non-ritualized, non-repetitive music. The resulting practice-based research tests the incorporation of these techniques into popular music composition. It also highlights conflicts between a generative mode of utopian composition that tends toward infinite, endless streams of music and the finite intentionality demanded by expectations of popular music shaped by capitalism. This opens up areas for further research investigating how far utopian thinking can help resist the pressures of capitalism in relation to popular music composition.

Author Biography

Paul Wolinski, University of Huddersfield

As part of Sheffield-based noise band 65daysofstatic, Paul has released seven albums and performed all over the world. Other 65 projects have included live soundtracks, short films, 3D remix engines and site-specific A/V installations usually featuring unhealthy numbers of speakers and/or hacked electronics. In 2016 they released the critically acclaimed ‘infinite’, dynamic, generative in-game soundtrack for ‘No Man’s Sky’. As a solo artist, Paul has released two albums. His first, Labyrinths (2011) was a noisy take on dance music. His second, Full Bleed (2014) was a move into bleaker, more experimental territory, building compositions mostly from tape hiss, pianos, distortion pedals and badly-designed MIDI-generators. He is currently studying for a PhD in Music Composition at the University of Huddersfield. His research practise so far has taken in live-coding, composing with/for game engines and thinking about (a)temporality in the context of composing electronic music. More information: 65daysofstatic.com — paulwolinski.co.uk — @polinski



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