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Crowdsourcing the Corpus

by David Plans Casal
Leonardo Music Journal ()


This paper describes the practical application of crowdsourcing human intelligence as a form of collaborative music-making. Spectral decomposition of an original recording is used to derive components from original audio, and these are then offered as online tasks in which contributors are asked to record their own interpretation of each component. Components are then gathered in order to re-synthesize the original corpus, which is used to build an improvisation system. The author uses Bernard Stieglers ecology of attention paradigm to situate crowdsourcing as an emerging form of public participation in music-making, and Glenn Goulds ideas on performance and public access to position this participation as an act of composition. The work is offered as an illustration of the authors individual process as a composer on finding new notational pathways for collaborative practice.

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