New Electronic Frontier

Christopher Dobrian of UCI's Gassmann Studio lets the microchips do the jamming

The second challenge is to teach the computer to have ideas of its own and to choose from among them, not in a random way, but with the same underlying logic that a musician uses. "I don't pretend to think that I would program a computer to do anything like what an improviser would do," Dobrian admits. "But, rather, could I get a computer to do some sort of response to what a human performer does that a human performer finds interesting enough to want to play along with it?

"My interest now is to see what the computer wants to do, if that's not too anthropomorphic a way to put it. In other words, what are the sorts of things that a computer is good at doing, and how can we have it do those things in such a way that convinces us that it's music? That requires a very open mind to be willing to experience these new types of music."

The Gassmann Electronic Music Series, featuring Pedro Eustache, at UC Irvine Concert Hall, W. Peltason Dr. & Mesa Rd., Irvine, (949) 824-2787. March 10, 8 p.m. Free. All ages.

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