The inventor of FM synthesis, John Chowning revolutionized the music industry.
In 1967, John Chowning discovered FM synthesis: a straightforward yet powerful way of producing rich synthesized sounds. The simplicity of FM synthesis allowed composers to appropriate a new technology that would soon change the world: the computer. Yamaha released the DX-7, based on Chowning’s FM synthesis algorithm, in 1983. The global sonic landscape was transformed, often in unexpected ways, as computer music moved from the lab to studios, recordings, concerts, and homes. Today, the applications of FM synthesis are omnipresent — in everything from contemporary electronic music to cell phone ringtones.
Join Us At This Public Event
John Chowning: Sound Synthesis and Perception: Composing from the Inside Out
Sound Synthesis and Perception: Composing from the Inside Out
Hosted by Tod Machover
Accompanied by Maureen Chowning
Thursday, October 11, 2012
5:00-6:30 PM | Lecture
7:30 PM | Concert
Media Lab, 6th Floor Event Space (E14-674)
75 Amherst Street, Cambridge, MA
Free and open to the public
With soprano Maureen Chowning, Chowning will perform the new work Voices (2011) for solo soprano and interactive computer using MaxMSP. Chowning will also present three iconic early pieces, Turenas (1972), Stria (1977) and Phoné (1981), that each make use of sound spatialization, algorithmic composition, and FM synthesis algorithms in unique ways.
Chowning will show how the development of 4-channel spatial illusions— spatialization — launched the discovery of FM synthesis. Its development gave rise to both the perceptual insights leading to the composition of Turenas and the synthesis of the singing voice found in Voices and Phonē. In Stria and Voices, both the scale (pitch space) and the inharmonic timbres (spectral space) are rooted in the Golden Ratio.
Co-presented by the MIT Media Lab.
John Chowning’s visit is made possible by the MIT Media Lab and the MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology. CAST connects artists, scientists, and engineers through a practice of experimentation, risk-taking, and imaginative problem solving.