Roland Kayn 1933 - 2011
January 21, 2011 11:57 AM   Subscribe

On January 5th, 2011 largely unknown modern composer, and pioneer of long format compositions on early computer systems Roland Kayn "... left this world today from his home".

Via AnaBlog
Roland Kayn (born 1933 in Reutlingen, Germany) studied from 1952 to 1955 in Stuttgart at the "Hochschule fur Musik", and at the "Technische Hochschule" with Max Bense. He was a pupil of Boris Blacher at the "Hochschule fur Musik" in Berlin from 1956 to 1958. He later worked in various electronic music studios-In Cologne, Munich, Warsaw and Utrecht.

"In my work the compositorial redactional methods are determined by acoustic-physical considerations. Important stimulation resulted from experience and knowledge of information theory and cybernetics. His development took a path outside the serial-aleatoric tendencies of the fifties, a path which can be described by the term 'cybernetic music'.

Since 1962, working on my scores of 'Galaxis' and 'Allotropie', I have been increasingly interested in the problem of the extent to which processes of automatically cybernetic origins can be reduced to the organic-sensory realm. In 'Cybernetics III' (1969) the main object was to control several independent sound sources in such a way that density of information corresponds to certain entropy values.

In the version produced in the Studio di Fonologia in Milan, ten sound sources are placed in relation to one another according to a particular selection principle. The entire basic material consists of sound spectra of vocal origin.

In contrast to purely electronic sound production, in which various oscillators provide the basic material, vocal spectra seemed to be more flexible in their inner structure for purposes of further transformation. Six basic categories of sound material are used, including animal noises too.

The material is modulated by means of electro-acoustic equipment and transformed by stages into new sound qualities."
posted by wcfields (8 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Look at his fucking patch bay (from the linked ihatemusic thread). Imagine a litter of kittens let loose on that desk, and the resulting music...
posted by idiopath at 12:08 PM on January 21, 2011 [6 favorites]

posted by Mental Wimp at 12:41 PM on January 21, 2011

Also, regarding Shivering Manatee in the ihatemusic thread who said
"What the hell....? He needs a patchbay like that to make a sound like a stuck synth through a phaser ???"

clearly you have never tried to use cybernetic processes to generate sound - the magic is that it generates coherency! But it is neither accident or coincidence that the coherence is the same that is provided by commonly used effects (how do you think those effects got invented, anyway, Mr. Manatee smartypants?).

That effects like phasers use something called "feedback" and "feedback" is a piece of cybernetic jargon related to signal flow is not a trivial or a-posteriori link. Would you listen to Hendrix and reply "any asshole with a distortion pedal can do that"?

in conclusion:

posted by idiopath at 12:53 PM on January 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

posted by krilli at 1:35 PM on January 21, 2011


Thanks for clueing me in to his existence!
posted by dubitable at 2:57 PM on January 21, 2011

MetaFilter: any asshole with a distortion pedal can do that

I should add that I found out about him via today's Bryce's show on WFMU where he played "Infra" (1980) in its entirety. A commenter on no longer forgotten music blog also linked to a scan of the booklet insert on this 4 LP acoustical tome.
posted by wcfields at 3:51 PM on January 21, 2011

posted by quazichimp at 6:47 PM on January 21, 2011

Sad day indeed.
posted by TheCoug at 7:17 PM on January 21, 2011

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