Michael Takezo Chinen

Michael Takezo Chinen is a berlin-based programmer orginally from Hawaii with Japanese roots. He studied computer science as well as composition in Seattle with Richard Karpen, Charles Dodge in New Hampshire, and sound synthesis with Naotoshi Osaka in Tokyo.  He is currently affiliated with TU Berlin through a Fulbright grant.  He is a participant in several open-source projects, including Audacity.  His interests involve writing software in c and c++ to find similarities between computer processes and music, using themes such as hierarchy, synchronicity, and reference.  Currently he is writing a suite of tools for the mac called the “fucking” series, which involves analyzing and sonifying the raw memory and processor state of everyday programs such as a web browser or text editor.

Use the navigation tabs to find his music or software.

Master’s Thesis “Software Music” (pdf, 576kB, 83 pages)

Abstract: Software is an essential component of computer music. Despite parallel trends toward composing in a graphical environment, current trends in computer music still offer composers the option to write code. Both graphical music composition environments and computer music programming languages tend to hide the software elements from the composer by modeling instrument/score composition paradigms. At the same time, other fields concerned with aesthetics, such as design and media art, are exhibiting trends toward ‘post-graphical user interface’ paradigms using programming.

This thesis shows how it is possible to use programming concepts such as reference, hierarchy, and synchronicity to directly create musical reference, musical hierarchy, and musical synchronicity. Its aim is to make more transparent the relationship between programming and the music it creates. These concepts are also present in natural systems, and their use as such an artistic material should be considered, as they are by other artists as well. It presents several compositions written by the author using these concepts: Tree Music, explores hierarchy and reference among data structures to provide hierarchical interpolation. Limited Resources explores synchronicity and threads in the software context by relating them to an ecosystem. Dict, explores reference and hierarchy using online dictionary definitions to deconstruct the meaning of a sentence.

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