Homage to Pietro Grossi (for tape)

COMBINA C1917 (1997) Homage to Pietro Grossi (for tape)

Roberto Doati

Centro di Sonologia Computazionale - University of Padova


1917: Pietro Grossi is borning in Venice.

1972: the RAI (Italian National Broadcasting) broadcasts "C'è musica e musica", a contemporary music series edited by Luciano Berio. In one of these television presentations Pietro Grossi, at that moment at the Biennale di Venezia Music Festival, is invited to speak about his computer music experiences. He is the first to promote such field in Italy.

1977: I am starting to follow the Pietro Grossi courses on Computer Music at the "Istituto di Elaborazione dell'Informazione" of CNUCE-CNR in Pisa. The most important teaching I receive is concerning the fact that the formalization of a compositional process is not limiting at all the creativeness of the composer, but extend it. I cannot forget the great emotion I felt the day I write and see my very first and trivial FORTRAN program running.

1997: I am "rebuilding" some of the commands that were part of the TAUMUS software realized in Pisa by Grossi and use them to transform those 100 seconds of the Berio television broadcasting. The Pietro Grossi and Virgilio Boccardi - the interviewer - voices and the very "naif" sounds of the TAU2 - the minicomputer with DAC used by Grossi - are granularized with a TAUMUS algorithm simulation. It generates simple combinations with 19 elements and 17 sub-elements. So the three different materials are submitted four times (each time with different values as concerns grain duration, starting point of file reading, etc.) to obtain twelve voices. I then time stretched - three times - the broadcasting to get the formal structure which reflects the "counterpoint" between Grossi, Boccardi and the TAU2. All of the sound events are achieved through reading and filtering with random controlled parameters the twelve voices. Three times the Berio's voice in the television broadcasting is superposed to the TAU2. So I used it as amplitude modulation and filtering control signal over the TAU2 "voice".

Thank you to Davide Rocchesso for the combinatorial algorithm and for BaBo.