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Making Faulty Music – Topographic Maps As Generative Music

DavidHecht_perspective

Students at Columbia’s GSAPP (Graduate School of Architecture Planning & Preservation) were challenged to generate music from the topographical map of the San Andreas Fault in California.
via BLDGBLOG for both the challenge and BLDGBLG for the results. Pictured here are the works of student David Hecht.

DavidHecht_exploded
Professor Geoff Manaugh challenged his students to listen to design architectural “devices” based on the San Andreas Fault, They were to take a composition, and interpret an individually assigned segment of a map of the fault as if it were a graphic notation score:

However, the Disquiet Junto challenge literalizes the notion of the “instrument” a bit more, specifically listening for the sonic implications of the Fault. Partially inspired by earlier graphic and musical explorations, by such composers as John Cage and Cornelius Cardew, among many, many others, the basic idea is that geologic maps of the San Andreas can themselves be “interpreted”—or perhaps willfully misinterpreted is more accurate—as a musical score. They are, in Marc Weidenbaum‘s words, a “faulty notation” for pieces of music that do not yet exist.

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