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February 4, 2009 5:27 AM
Posted by Benjamin J. Romano
A German composer, Johannes Kreidler, has found another interesting use for Microsoft's new Songsmith musical accompaniment software. His composition, Charts Music, derives melodies from stock-price charts of Lehman Brothers, Bank of America, GM and other major global companies and market indexes, as well as unemployment rates and other indicators. The melodies are plugged into Songsmith to create short, unsettling songs for each chart. Kreidler doesn't limit himself to traditional financial indicators. He also includes charts of Iraq War deaths and growth in the porn industry. [Update, 6:05 a.m.: Kreidler explains more about the how and why of his composition after the jump.]
Via the Telegraph.
Update, 6:05 a.m.: Kreidler, based in Berlin, explained more about his work in response to a few questions I sent him this morning:
"i created the melodies 'by hand', not algorithmically. I drew the points on the graphs and then interpreted them as pitches and wrote the melodies, then a made the arrangements with them and built a somehow interesting dramaturgy with them.
"The reason why I'm doing this is that I am a composer and I want to include the 'real' world into my music and make political statements. Somehow, my way of doing this is rather satirically. ...
"So, this is my art between (avantgarde) music and politics, using new media. It probably doesn't change things obviously, but at least i can make statements with it (and maybe provoke some guys).
"By the way - my piece is pretty funny, but in fact i'm suffering from the crisis personally, a planned radio play of mine can't be realised this year due to the economic situation of the radio station i wanted to work with."