The Algorithm Project

In November and December 2021 I worked on what I’ve decided to call “The Algorithm Project”. After a few years of learning about electroacoustic music, algorithmic composition and live coding, I decided to try to apply some of these concepts to jazz composition and see what happens.

The process was basically as follows:

I wrote a bunch of music. About half the pieces started as algorithms in SuperCollider that I then “translated” into musical notation for the musicians. The other half of the pieces were a bit more abstract - I thought about the musicians in my bands as bits of code that I’d written, and used a few different algorithmic strategies to compose for them.

In December, I went into the studio with two bands - one, with my quartet Redbank, and then with a new quartet - if I’m doing a new project, I may as well use it as an excuse to start a new band! This was the first time I’d played with Jonas, and that Jonas, Max and Peter had played with each other at all. I sent a few of the charts beforehand, but most of the pieces I just brought with me on the day. I wanted to capture the same spontaneity and riskyness that comes with a live coding gig - anything could go wrong, and that’s not only ok but somehow also cool!

We recorded in the beautiful Zentrifuge studio in Berlin with the amazing Tito Knapp. I can’t recommend this enough: Zentrifuge sounds great, it’s affordable. Tito’s mixing and mastering is incredibly fast and sounds (to my ears) just fantastic. My dear friend Sandra Reyes came along and filmed both days. Sandra is a bit of a video genius if you ask me, check her out.

The two recordings are:

Redbank

ft.

Georg Demel - trombone

Lorenz Heigenhuber - bass

Max Stadfeld - drums

and

Ceramic Tiles

ft.

Peter Ehwald - saxophone

Jonas Westergaard - bass

Max Stadtfeld - drums