Andy Greenwood interview

interview with: andy greenwood (2005/08/18) journal contents

How long have you been working in this area?

Approximately 4 years.

Were you an artist/ musician first who got into using computers/the net or did you respond to the net in an artistic way?

I've been playing the electric guitar for roughly twenty years and found that the net and other recent developments in computer technology has enabled me to expand my artistic vision. In short, the answer is both.

What/who has influenced you in your work? (themes, other artists etc)

I have many influences from conventional sources such as rock and blues, however, if I could site one influence for Unkle Velvet, it would be Manuel Gottsching of Ashra (Tempel).

Are there any other artists covering the same field as you?

There are many artists composing generative music with Koan Pro. Some of us recently created a compilation album 'Convergence I' on '' ( The most prominent composer to compose with Koan is Brian Eno who created
'Generative Music 1' in 1996.

With regard to 'soundtoys' especially, why do you think the audio visual metaphor is so key to the net?

The net generally promotes a proactive stance on behalf of the 'user', who 'click' their way through both linear and non-linear hyperlinks to get to their destination. The use of sound and visuals may make their journey a more enjoyable one. 'Soundtoys' may be a way of persuading the 'hyper-traveller' to stay a while or even return when they take on another jouney through the net. Similarly to the net, the non-linear nature of most 'soundtoys' encourage a proactive stance on behalf of the 'user' giving them the 'illusion' that they are in control, when it is in fact, generally within the limitations given to them by the artist

Could you come up with a definition of "soundtoys"

See above.

Does the net promote visual awareness that is unique to it?

Yes, although I do think that it is the net's limitations that, more often than not, determine the way in which it looks or operates.

How novel do you feel generative music is?

As a general concept, it is not novel at all. Mozart was experimenting with non-linear forms of music composition as early as the 18th Century with his 'Musical Dice Game' (Musicalisches Wurfelspiel, K. 294d). However, one novel aspect to generative music, especially using 'Koan Pro', is the potential use of algorithms to enable the composer to create alternative versions of any one composition, spontaneously, from the same source.
As a result, this novel way of presenting music may challenge the conventional way in which the listener perceives the music.

Would you describe yourself as a multimedia artist, a net.artist, programmer, or none of the above?

All of the above.

What software do you use most?

Koan Pro

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