Tim Perkis

Touch Typing (1989)

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In the collection Artificial Horizon, this computer-generated composition "grew out of attempts to build a work based on the behavior of genes in biological systems...a string of bits defining a sound event (a "gene") is randomly mutated...or the entire gene is cut in half and mixed with another one...the computer keys...'express' the gene, cause a mutation to happen, or cause an event to be 'bred' with another...I fill the role of natural selection, by choosing to keep some sounds and discard others" (Perkis). A wide variety of pure (even gloriously "raw") waveforms like those of early electronic music in the late 1950s and '60s produce fascinating layering in this piece -- the listener can actually hear the recombinant mutations without a roadmap or further program notes.