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Charles Smith
Charles Smith


I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.

I started composing music when I was 8 and took my first piano lessons at 10.

My first exposure to aleatory music came when I took Music 304 with Sever Tipei at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Introduction to Algorithmic Music with Heinrich Taube in 2000. Further exposure came from attending the Workshop in Algorithmic Computer Music with David Cope at the UCSC in California in July 2007.

I am now considered a crossover composer, composing both for acoustic and electroacoustic forces. I have over 300 compositions in my belt, and 4 of them had already been published by Pelican Music Publishing.

One of my latest aleatory projects was featured in my choreographic work, "Linden Love", in July 2008 at the Hamlin Park Auditorium in Chicago, using a soundtrack of my original MIDI compositions that I chosen at random. I had been a contemporary dancer for 5 years and I often use performance art dance with my music.


The aleatory style is mainly through coin-tossing targeting a lot of music parameters ranging from notes to dynamics to time signatures.



John Cage, Arnold Schonberg, George Walker


  Algorithms 1 and 2--Different Drumsets

The music was composed during the WACM in Santa Cruz, CA in July 2007 (WACM stands for the Workshop in Algorithmic Computer Music). I had used a regular logarithmic table I found on the Internet and changed the numbers in the table to MIDI notes that change through time slowly, although still randomly. I used a drum track palette for the composition.


 Smooth Suspense


The piece had no written-out anything! No script! No manuscript! No music notation software assistance! No written plans! No graphic notation plans....

The piece was COMPLETELY IMPROVISED. So without those plans, I used complete improvisation, but I still set the parameters still...have a beginning, middle, and end of the song. I also set a few rules...the music had to be avant-garde but not completely avant-garde.
So call this piece "pseudo-aleatoric."

The piece uses the Master Tracks Pro Sequencer (v.4.3), along with the Kurzweil PC-88 keyboard, which I set to "Goblins" (patch number 101 in "Expanded Sounds").

UPDATE: 6 years after I did this composition, I did a Finale transcription of it.



0 # Update on my aleatory music networkingCharles Smith 2012-01-07 16:40
With my networking on Facebook, I plan to meet up with aleatory music artists that will make me inspired to create more chance music at a longer and a bigger level.
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