The Audience is Listening (when you're done with the code)
March 4, 2014 5:49 AM Subscribe
There are many, many random numbers involved in the score for the piece. Every time I ran the C-program, it produced a new "performance".... The one we chose had that conspicuous descending tone that everybody liked. It just happened to end up real loud in that version.James Moorer relates the rather unexpected manner in which he composed one of the one of the world's best known pieces of computer generated music: "Deep Note" from the THX trailer.
Tomlinson Holman, one of Moorer's colleages at Lucusfilm came up with THX as a certification system for movie theatres who were planning on showing 1983's The Return of The Jedi. The name came from his initials together with an X denoting "crossover" - as well as being a reference to George Lucas' seminal THX 1138. "Deep Note" appeared in cinemas worldwide until 1997 - after having been played up to 4,000 times per day globally. It was parodied by The Simpsons, by Over the Hedge, by Tiny Toons, by cows, by Mellotron, and by this alarmed tarsier. More recent trailers have included James Horner's Cimarron as well as Grand. More details about Moorer - who will NOT fix your old radio - on his home page. The musical score is hard to find (and - since it originated as generative code rather than a performance the copyright issue appears unclear - modulus LucasArt's lawyers) - but here is a rough guide if you have a room full of trombone players handy - or a choir. The work has been cited as being similar to the (even spookier) 1954 work Metastasis by Iannis Xenakis - listen for yourself. Sound artist Batuhan Bozkurt has more details on the sound - including reports on his attempt to re-create it with SuperCollider. If you have even more time then you could listen to this 37 minute stretched version.
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments