Music for Typist

Interactive computer music performance
1998. 12:00 min. Hayden Auditorium (Greenwich House). New York City
ALYSSE STEPANIAN: performance, set design
PHILIP MANTIONE: music, computer programming, concept and design

Music for Typist is a computer-interactive work created by composer and multimedia artist, Philip Mantione. It uses the structure of the English language as a starting point for a process that juxtaposes order, randomness, and the natural rhythms of the typist. The text is composed of excerpts from the dream and travel journals of Stepanian, as well as from random words taken from the dictionary. Each of the twelve sections of the piece are the result of distinct sub-programs that manipulate the input in various ways. The way in which letters, punctuation marks and space bars are treated is continually altered. The rhythms and durations created by the typist, coexist with automated processes that employ randomness as a basis for variety. The effect of timbre is somewhat neutralized by limiting the sounds to a few generic synthesized voices. Black letters, which may or may not reflect what is being typed, are projected on white sheets surrounding the nude performer. She types on a keyboard, creating textures that resonate the intimacy between the nude and the machine.