Eduardo R. Miranda
"... a formidable electroacoustic composer"
- Wire -
"If the goal is to push music-making beyond conventional bounds, Miranda and his colleagues must surely have succeeded."
- MIT Technology Review -
Welcome to my blog-like webpage!
I am a composer working at the crossroads of music and science. My music is informed and inspired by my research into Artificial Intelligence (AI) in significant ways. I have composed music for symphonic orchestras, chamber groups, solo instruments - with and without live electronics - and electroacoustic music.
My music has been broadcast and performed at festivals and concerts worldwide, by renowned performers and ensembles such as Ian Pace (piano), Frances M Lynch (soprano), Mariona Sagarra (soprano), Luciani Cardassi (piano), Catarina Domenici (piano), Ney Rosauro (percussion), Saltire String Quartet, Chamber Group of Scotland, Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), Orquestra Sinfônica de Porto Alegre (OSPA), BBC Concert Orchestra, Heritage Orchestra and Ten Tors Orchestra, to cite but a few. In addition to concert music, I have composed for theatre and contemporary dance.
Samples of my work are available online at SoundCloud and through my Vimeo channel. (Click on the icons below)
In 2011-2012 I was composer-in-residence at the Science Museum, London, working with Lottolab Studio. Please, click on the icons below for more information.
Previous residencies include: CCMIX (Centre de Création Musicale Iannis Xenakis, Paris, France), IMEB (Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, France), Fundació Phonos (Barcelona, Spain) and Luciano Berio's Centro Tempo Reale (Florence, Italy).
I have recently discussed my work on AI in music composition in The Forum - broadcast by BBC World Service - with BBC diplomatic correspondent, Bridget Kendall, UCL's cell therapy maverick, Prof Chris Mason, and MIT's economist, Prof Esther Duflo. A truly interdisciplinary discussion with examples from my symphonic work, Mind Pieces (see below). Click on the icon below for more information and to access the podcast.
Symphony of Minds Listening
Symphony of Minds Listening was premiered by Ten Tors Orchestra under the baton of Simon Ible at Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, on Saturday 23 February 2013. The symphony is based on the second movement of Beethoven's seventh symphony. The symphony deconstructs and re-mixes the original according to fMRI brain scans taken from different people listening to Beethoven's movement; each person yielded a different movement of my symphony, using the same instrumentation as in Beethoven's original.
Please refer to the following website for more information, recordings and movies:
In the run-up for the premiere, Neil Bowdler, a reporter of BBC Radio 4's The World at One programme, paid a visit to my lab to produce a nicely put together documentary, which can be heard by clicking on the icon below.
Sound to Sea
orchestra, percussion, organ, choir and mezzo-soprano
Sound to Sea was premiered by Ten Tors Orchestra under the baton of Simon Ible - to whom the piece was dedicated - and phenomenal mezzo-soprano Juliette Pochin, at St Andrew's Minster, Plymouth, on Saturday 22 Sept 2012. Sound to Sea is a major symphonic choral work in 4 movements and 3 intermezzi, which revisits the magnificent British choral tradition that emerged in the late 19th Century, from a 21st Century postmodernist outlook.
A review in the esteemed Seen and Heard International website is available [ here ].
In the run-up for the concert, I spoke to Evan Davis on Today, BBC Radio 4's most popular programme and reaches an average of six million listeners every week.
I am particularly pleased with the unprecedented method that I developed to compose the 2nd movement, Raster Plot. I composed this movement entirely with rhythms generated by a computer simulation of a network of interconnected neurones that simulates the way in which our brain encodes information. In a nutshell, each instrument of the orchestra corresponds to a neurone. The dots on the graphs below (on the right hand side) correspond to neural activity and each dot is rendered as a musical note. Scientists refer to these graphs as "raster plots".
Below is an excerpt of Raster Plot. This is an unedited amateur stereo recording. A professional recording of the entire symphony will be released on a CD shortly.
No Flash: click here.
orchestra, percussion and electroacoustics
A few years ago John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in New York granted me a Fellowship in composition to conduct research into phonology, computational modelling of the human voice and evolution of music. One important outcome of this work is the piece Sacra Conversazione, for strings orchestra, percussion and electronics (and versions for other formations), in which surreal voices sing in a "global" synthesized language combining utterances from seventeen different languages from all over the world (German, Japanese, Hebrew, English, Spanish, Arabic, Persian and so on) and other "impossible" vocal sounds (e.g., by artificially enlarging the vocal tract to gigantic size). Below is a movie with excerpts from the premiere by Ten Tors Orchestra (Simon Ible, conductor) at the 2008 Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival, in Plymouth.
In June 2011 a new version of Sacra Conversazione was performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra (Charles Hazlewood, conductor) at the Sount Bank Centre, London, as part of the Electronica III series presented by Jarvis Cocker.
An edited recording of the concert has been broadcasted on BBC Radio 3: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/
In the run-up for the concert, the journal Nature published a Q&A session by Philip Ball on the composition and what music can tell us about speech, physiology and cognition. (Click on the image below for a PDF copy.) A longer version of the interview is available from Philip's blog Homunculus.
orchestra, percussion and prepared piano
Mind Pieces, a symphonic composition in five movements for prepared piano, orchestra and percussion, which was premiered by the Ten Tors Orchestra (Simon Ible, conductor) in February 2011, at the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival.
Mind Pieces explores the notion of ear-worm. It is inspired by the phenomenon of memory retrieval by the brain and how our memory frequently distorts information. This composition uses musical materials generated with A-life simulations (or Artificial Life), models of the way in which information travels through networks of neurons in the brain, bird songs, Villa Lobos-inspired rhythms and orchestration inspired by Holst’s Jupiter and Ravel's Bolero. Below is a movie with excerpts from the premiere.
"The basis for each movement was an “ear-worm”: a familiar fragment of rhythm, melody or texture briefly recalled (we heard bits of Villa-Lobos, Holst, Ravel) and then reprocessed into something else. Behind the music lay some no doubt complex thinking about the tension between the persistence and fallibility of memory. But as heard, it was perfectly straightforward, tuneful, tonal, unexceptionably pleasing ..." (Michael White, The Telegraph)
"...mix full of fascinating sonorities and timbres ..." (Philip Buttall, The Herald)
An interview to on my work on music through A-Life simulations was featured in the programme So klingen Cyborgs. (You may click on the orage Deutschlandradio Kultur icon to access it.)
piano and electroacoustics
Mozart Reloaded, is a piece for piano and electronics in 3 movements, which I composed for the BBC Concert Orchestra's Mozart Mash-up project, featured as part of BBC Radio 3's "The Genius of Mozart" season in January 2011. The piece is dedicated to pianist Luciane Cardassi, who premiered it at Banff Centre, Canada. (Go to the BBC CO website - link above - to listen to the piece.)
Cardassi's recording, the score and an essay on the compositional process and thinking behind the piecehas just been released by Sargasso.
Those accessing my website from outside the UK might not be able to play the music from the BBC website. Below is Hip-Hopped, the third movement.
No Flash: click here
string octet and the Soundwall
I composed Waggle Dance for London's Science Museum. It was commissioned by Lottolab Studio and it was first performed by Heritage Orchestra (Anthony Weeden, conductor) during a Lates event, which took place at the museum on 27 July 2011.
The piece is for string octet and the Soundwall. The Soundwall is an extraordinary immersive musical instrument which is being developed with Prof Beau Lotto, at Lottolab Studio.
During the performance, the live sounds of the strings are relayed to the soundwall placed at a distance, creating a secondary performance/concert space. The audience can move from one space to another during the performance if they wish.
The buzzing sounds of the strings dance on the wall like bees in search of pollen. Click on the photos below to watch a short documentary on the premiere.
World Premiere of Die Lebensfreude
flute, clarinet, piano, violin, violoncello, electroacoustics (6 channels) and visual projection
Die Lebensfreude was commissioned by Sond'Ar-te Electric Ensemble and was premiered in Cascais, Portugal on 01 June 2012, conducted by Guillaume Bourgogne. The piece is inspired by a painting by Max Ernst, Die Lebensfreude (The Joy of Life), which is a twist on a painting by Matisse with the same name. In contrast to the joyous nature of Matisse’s painting, Ernst spreads entangled leaves and tendrils across the picture and populates it with praying mantises. The composition draws from my research into rendering the behaviour of an amoeba-like slime mould called Physarum polycephalum into sound. The piece has two parts:
I - Machina Vita
II - Machina est finitum
A paper detailing the simulation and the sonification method has been published in Journal of Bionic Engineering.
My rearch into making music using unconventional biocomputers is featured in an article entitled "Hier musizieren Schleimpilze" published by ORF - Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. The work has recently been in the news in Russia and in the USA as well. (You may click on the icons below to access them.)
Impact: International Press
My work has been reported by the press worldwide. Below is a short selection of news stories published by magazines in Egypt, Norway, Italy, UK, Lebanon, Netherlands and USA. Click on the covers of the magazines below to read the articles.
Music"... Clever, and strangely soothing, its sound blipped, splattered and dripped, ending in a scrunching cascade of high splintered sound."
- The Scotsman -
"Mozart for a modern world"
Most of the CDs below can be bought online; e.g., via Amazon. If you happen to be in Berlin, you will find some of them for sale at Gelbe Musik, Schaperstr 11. If you are interested in a particular CD and you cannot find it in the market, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Mother Tongue is also available from iTunes, where you may also purchase individual tracks: [iTunes].
Solo album release by Sargasso
Pieces on this CD:
... These are immensely sophisticated pieces that constitute an electronic global music of convincingly organic simplicity. Brian Morton, Wire
New Release by Sargasso: Mozart Reloaded
This special Sargasso Limited Edition of 100 signed copies includes a book, 2 CDs and an original print. The book contains an essay by about the compositional process involved in the creation of the piece, a foreword by Professor Andy Miah, and the full score of the piece. It also includes a unique signed print by Peter BB Davis, created especially for this edition.
Part of CD compilations and CDs accompanying publications
Below is only a short list of representative concerts and festivals all over the world where my music has been performed .
"[Prof Miranda's] research into the evolution of music may change the way in which we create music"
- New Electronics -
|My research interests and
composition (including algorithmic, computer-aided and
electroacoustic), sound synthesis, new musical interfaces, expressive
music performance (by machines), brain-computer music interfacing,
evolutionary computer music, music neurotechnology, unconventional
computation (for music technology) and artificial intelligence.
I am Professor of Computer Music with Plymouth University in England and I am affiliated to UFRGS's Computer Music Lab in Brazil. Also, I was appointed DAAD Edgard-Varese-Gastprofessur at Technische Universität Berlin, and Research Fellow at the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung (Museum of Musical Instruments, Berlin Philharmonic).
I am proud of the impact of my research into brain-computer music interfacing (or BCMI) for people with severe disabilities, which was the topic of a key note I gave at the international conference on "Music Technology: Solutions to Challenges", held recently at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, in London.
Check the articles by Philip Ball in Nature , by Matthew Knight, in CNN Lab and by Alice Vincent in Wired .
My research into modelling the evolution of music using robots has been in the news all over. The singing robots that learn how to sing melodies by babbling to each other have caught people's imagination. See short article We, Robots in Reason, published in the USA.
In 2011 I won the Vice-Chancellor's World Class Research Award at Plymouth University for my "outstanding contribution to the research and outward-facing agenda" of the institution.
Hot off the press: JUST PUBLISHED!
[Click here] for an order form. It is recommend that you order directly from publisher.
[Click here] for a review by Victor Lazzarini, National University of Ireland Maynooth, in Computer Music Journal.
Edited thematic journal issues
Research papers: journals"... author of one of the top 5% most highly cited papers in [his] field worldwide"
- Council of Canadian Academies -
published well over 120 refereed research papers in conference
proceedings, journals and book chapters. Only peer-reviewed research
papers published in learned journals
are listed below. A complete list of my research paper
publications is available on request.
Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. (2012). "Pulsed Melodic Affective Processing – Using Music for Natural Affective Computation and Increased Processing Transparency", Neural, Parallel, and Scientific Computations, 20:227-240.
Miranda, E. R., Adamatzky, A. and Jones, J. (2011). "Sounds Synthesis with Slime Mould of Physarum Polycephalum", Journal of Bionic Engineering, 8(2011): 107-113.
Anders, T. and Miranda, E. R. (2011). "A Computational Model for Rule-Based Microtonal Music Theories and Composition", Perspectives of New Music, 48(2): 47-77.
Miranda, E. R., Magee, W., Wilson, J. J., Eaton, J., and Palaniappan, R. (2011). “Brain-Computer Music Interfacing (BCMI): From Basic Research to the Real World of Special Needs", Music and Medicine, DOI: 10.1177/1943862111399290
Anders, T. and Miranda, E. R. (2011). “A Survey of Constraint Programming Systems for Modelling Music Theories and Composition”, ACM Computing Surveys, 43(4):Article 30.
Anders, T. and Miranda, E. R. (2010). “Constraint Application with Higher-Order Programming for Modeling Music Theories”, Computer Music Journal, 34(2):25-38.
Miranda, E. R. (2010). "Contextualizing Eighteenth Century Enlightenment Through the Lenses of Contemporary Science", Physics of Life Reviews, 7:35-36.
Miranda, E. R. (2010). “Plymouth brain-computer music interfacing project: from EEG audio mixers to composition informed by cognitive neuroscience”, International Journal of Arts and Technology, 3(2/3):154-176.
Miranda, E. R. (2010). “Organised Sound, Mental Imageries and the Future of Music Technology: A Neuroscience Outlook”, Organised Sound 15(1):13-25.
Miranda, E. R., Kirke, A., Zhang, Q. (2010). “Artificial Evolution of Expressive Performance of Music: An Imitative Multi-Agent Systems Approach”, Computer Music Journal, 34(1):80-96
Anders, T. and Miranda, E. R. (2009). “Interfacing Manual and Machine Composition”. Contemporary Music Review, 28(2):133-147.
Durrant, D., Hardoon, D. R., Brechmann, A., Shawe-Taylor, J., Miranda, E. R. and Scheich, H. (2009). “GLM and SVM analyses of neural response to tonal and atonal stimuli: new techniques and a comparison”, Connection Science, 21(2-3):161-175.
Kirke, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2009). "A Survey of Computer Systems for Expressive Music Performance", ACM Computing Surveys, 42(1):Article 3.
Miranda, E. R., Bull, L., Gueguen, F. and Uroukov, I. S. (2009). "Computer Music Meets Unconventional Computing: Towards Sound Synthesis with In Vitro Neural Networks", Computer Music Journal, 33(1):09-18.
Miranda, E. R. and Matthias, J. (2009). "Music Neurotechnology for Sound Synthesis", Leonardo, 42(5):439-442.
Miranda, E. R. (2008). "Emergent Songs by Social Robots", Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence, 20(4):319-334.
Miranda, E. R., and Maia Jr., A. (2007). "Spectral Fuzzy Sets and Markov Streaming for Granular Synthesis of Sound", Symmetry: Culture and Science, 18(2-3):223-241.
Miranda, E R. (2006). “Brain-computer music interface for composition and performance”, International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 5(2):119-125.
Miranda, E. R. (2005). “Artificial Phonology: On Synthesising Disenbodied Humanoid Voice for Composing Music with Surreal Languages”, Leonardo Music Journal, 15:8-16.
Miranda, E. R. and Brouse, A. (2005). “On Interfacing the Brain Directly with Musical Systems”, Leonardo, 38(4):331-336.
Miranda, E. R. and Valsamakis, N. (2005). “Iterative Sound Synthesis using Cross-Coupled Digital Oscillators”, Digital Creativity, 16(2):79-92.
Miranda, E. R. (2004). “At the Crossroads of Evolutionary Computation and Music: Self-Programming Synthesizers, Swarm Orchestras and the Origins of Melody”, Evolutionary Computation, 12(2):137-158.
Miranda, E. R., Roberts, S. and Stokes, M. (2004). “On Generating EEG for Controlling Musical Systems”, Biomedizinische Technik, 49(1):75-76.
Westerman, G. and Miranda, E. R. (2004). “A New Model of Sensorimotor Coupling in the Development of Speech”, Brain and Language, 82(2):393-400.
Miranda, E. R. (2003). “On the evolution of music in a society of self-taught digital creatures”, Digital Creativity, 14(1):29-42.
Miranda, E. R. (2003). “On the Music of Emergent Behaviour: What can Evolutionary Computation Bring to the Musician?”, Leonardo, 36(1):55-58.
Miranda, E. R., Sharman, K., Kilborn, K., Duncan, A. (2003). “On Harnessing the Electroencephalogram for the Musical Braincap”, Computer Music Journal, 27(2):80-102.
Westerman, G. and Miranda, E. R. (2003). “Modelling the Development of Mirror Neurons for Auditory-Motor Integration”, Journal of New Music Research, 31(4):367-375.
Bilotta, E., Miranda, E. R., Pantano, P and Todd, P. (2002). “Artificial Life for Musical Applications: Workshop Report”, Artificial Life, 8(1):83-86.
Miranda, E. R. (2002). “Emergent Sound Repertoires in Virtual Societies”, Computer Music Journal, 26(2):77-90.
Miranda, E. R., (2002). “Generating Source Streams for Extralinguistic Utterances”, Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 50(3):165-172.
Miranda, E. R., Correa, J. S., Wright, J. (2000). “Categorising Complex Dynamic Sounds”, Organised Sound, 5(2):95-102.
Miranda, E. R., McAlpine, K. and Hoggar, S. (1999). “Making Music with Algorithms: A Case Study”, Computer Music Journal, 23(2):19-30.
Miranda, E. R. (1998). “The Role of Speech Synthesis in Requiem per una veu perdudua”, Organised Sound, 3(3):235-240.
Miranda, E. R. (1997). “Machine Learning and Sound Design: A Case Study”, Leonardo Music Journal, 7:49-55.
Miranda, E. R. (1995). “An Artificial Intelligence Approach to Sound Design”, Computer Music Journal, 19(2):59-75.
Miranda, E. R. (1995). “Granular Synthesis of Sounds by means of a Cellular Automaton”, Leonardo, 28(4):297-300.
Miranda, E. R. (1995). “Cellular Automata Synthesis of Acoustic Particles”, Supercomputer, 56:16-23.
Miranda, E. R. (1994). “From Symbols to Sound: AI-based Investigation of Sound Synthesis”, Contemporary Music Review, 10(2):211-232.
Miranda, E. R. (1994). “Music composition using cellular automata”, Languages of Design, 2:105-117.
Miranda, E. R. (1993). “Cellular Automata Music: An Interdisciplinary Project”, Interface, 22(1):3-21.
Wiggins, G., Miranda, E. R., Smaill, A. and Harris, M. (1993). “A Framework for the Evaluation of Music Representation Systems”, Computer Music Journal, 17(3):31-42.
Last updated 30 January 2013.