The below are academic publications related to the Threnoscope from different perspectives: improvisation, notation, live coding technique, performance studies, etc. For the general research publications outputs of Thor Magnusson, please see his university profile.

The Ensemble as Expanded Interface: Sympoetic Performance in the Brain Dead Ensemble

This paper reports on an interactive and interconnected music ensemble from the perspective of the interface. More specifically it aims to canvass the dynamic relationships established within the Brain Dead Ensemble. It describes how the reconfigured rela- tionships between performers and instruments are inherent to this ensemble from a technical point of view. In addition, it aims to survey the phenomenological aspect of the rela- tionships established between the performers of this ensemble and how these relationships suggest the possi- bility of an ensemble itself conceived as interface.

[ International Conference on Live Interfaces With Thanos Polymeneas-Liontiris, Alice Eldridge and Chris Kiefer - download paper here]

Interfacing Sound: Visual Representation of Sound in Musical Software Instruments

This chapter explores the role of visual representation of sound in music software. Software design often remediates older technologies, such as common music nota- tion, the analogue tape, outboard studio equipment, as well as applying metaphors from acoustic and electric instruments. In that context, the aim here will be study particular modes in which abstract shapes, symbols and innovative notations can be applied in systems for composition and live performance. Considering the practically infinite possibilities of representation of sound in digital systems – both in terms of visual display and mapping of gestural control- lers to sound – the concepts of graphic design, notation and performance will be discussed in relation to four systems created by the author: ixi software, ixiQuarks, ixi lang, and the Threnoscope live coding environment. These will be presented as examples of limited systems that frame the musician’s compositional thoughts providing a constrained palette of musical possibilities. What this software has in common is the integral use of visual elements in musical composition, equally as prescriptive and representative notation for musical processes.

[Musical Instruments in the 21st Century download chapter:PDF]

Code Scores in Live Coding Practice

This paper explores live coding environments in the con- text of notational systems. The improvisational practice of live coding as combining both composition and per- formance is introduced and selected systems are dis- cussed. The author’s Threnoscope system is described, but this is a system that enables the performer to work with both descriptive and prescriptive scores that can be run and altered in an improvisational performance.

[Tenor 2015 Conference download PDF]

Scoring with Code: Composing with Algorithmic Notation

Computer code is a form of notational language. It prescribes actions to be carried out by the computer, often by systems called interpreters. When code is used to write music, we are therefore operating with programming language as a relatively new form of musical notation. Music is a time-based art form and the traditional musical score is a linear chronograph with instructions for an interpreter. Here code and traditional notation are somewhat at odds, since code is written as text, without any representational timeline. This can pose problems, for example for a composer who is working on a section in the middle of a long piece, but has to repeatedly run the code from the beginning or make temporary arrangements to solve this difficulty in the compositional process. In short: code does not come with a timeline but is rather the material used for building timelines. This article explores the context of creating linear ‘code scores’ in the area of musical notation. It presents the Threnoscope as an example of a system that implements both representational notation and a prescriptive code score.

[Organised Sound: An International Journal of Music and Technology download PDF]

Improvising with the Threnoscope

Live coding emphasizes improvisation. It is an art practice merging the act of musical composition and performance into a public act of projected writing. This paper introduces the improvisational features of the Threnoscope system, which implements a live coding micro- language for drone-based microtonal composition. The paper discusses the aims and objectives of the system, elucidates design decisions, and describes its code score that can render a visual representation of past and future events in a real-time performance.

[New Interfaces For Musical Expression download PDF]

Herding Cats: Observing Live Coding in the Wild

After an eventful decade of live-coding activities, this article seeks to explore the practice with the aim of situating it in the history of contemporary arts and music. The article introduces several key points of investigation in live-coding research and discusses some examples of how live-coding practitioners engage with these points in their system design and performances. In light of the extremely diverse manifestations of live-coding activities, the problem of defining the practice is discussed, and the question is raised whether live coding is actually necessary as an independent category.

[Computer Music Journal - Spring 2014 Special issue on Live Coding: download PDF]

The Threnoscope: A Musical Work for Live Coding Performance

This paper introduces a new direction in the field of artistic live coding where musical works are presented as pieces in the form of a live coding system. The system itself and the code affordances become equivalent to score system in an open musical work for strong improvisation.

[Live 2013 (International Conference on Software Engineering): download PDF]

(c) 2010-2020 Þórhallur Magnússon, Thorhallur Magnusson, Thor Magnusson