Karlheinz Essl is the maker of this fascinating Max MSP generated application. In the first versions on Mac OS9 classic you could see how everything was made and you could obtain your own unlock code for the application to generate midi signals. However, now this app is locked and considered more as an performance art piece from Karlheinz than before.
Lexikon-Sonate is an interactive realtime composition environment for musical composition and live performances. It takes advantage of composition algorithms that has been developed by Karlheinz Essl since 1985. With this algorithmic music generator on can easily create fascinating and complex musical structures on the fly. Furthermore, Lexikon-Sonate is an infinite music installation that can run on a computer for years without repeating itself. Finally, Lexikon-Sonate can be used as an instrument for live performance of electronic music. ref
vs. 3.3 – MacOS X 10.4 – 10.6
released: 22 Dec 2009 (Freeware)
Lexikon-Sonate is a work-in-progress which was started in 1992. Instead of being a composition in which the structure is fixed by notation, it manifests itself as a computer program that composes the piece – or, more precisely: an excerpt of a virtually endless piano piece – in real time. Lexikon-Sonate lacks two characteristics of a traditional piano piece:
there is no pre-composed text to be interpreted, and
there is no need for a pianist or an interpreter.
Instead, the instructions for playing the piano – the indication “which key should be pressed how quickly and held down for how long” – are directly generated by a computer program and transmitted immediately to a player piano (or the built-in Quicktime synthesizer) which executes them.
Navigation map of the electronic Lexikon-Roman
© 1992-98 by Libraries of the Mind
The title Lexikon-Sonate refers to the “Lexikon-Roman”, written in 1968-70 by the Austrian-Slovakian author Andreas Okopenko. This novel appears to be one of the very first literary HyperTexts, independently of Ted Nelson who introduced this term about the same time. This novel – “a sentimental journey to a meeting of exporters in Druden” (subtitle) – consists of several hundred small chapters which were brought into alphabetical order. By reference arrows as in a lexicon the reader could make her own investigations through the multiple nested web structure of the text. Instead of presenting a sequential text with a predefined direction of reading, Okopenko provides a structure of possibilities, which challenges the reader to become a creator of her own version of this novel.
Originally, Lexikon-Sonate was conceived as a musical commentary to an electronic implementation of Okopenko’s “Lexikon-Roman”, carried out by the interdisciplinary group “Libraries of the Mind”. But soon afterwards it started its own life due to its manifold ramifications, becoming an outstanding example in the domain of algorithmic composition. ref
The audio contains a demo, some reverb has been applied…
backup at archive.org