Stochastic Gestural Composition Tool

This composition tool is the result of a collaboration with Takuto Fukuda. The intention is to create a tool to aid the composition process by giving a composer the ability to simple draw a gesture they might have in mind with a particular set of discrete pitch selections. First, one draws the gesture in mind. Second, one selects the pitch material to be used. The higher the slider, the higher probability of that particular pitch being selected. Finally, one selects “Generate” and “Densify” to fill in the resultant graphical display. This can then be played with midi sounds.

Our first attempts have resulted in a basic, functioning Max patch that focuses on the gestural draw and discrete pitch selection.

Here is the blank view of the interface for Max. Notice how the tool is split into the two areas, selection and playback.


Selection includes the ability to draw the gesture onto the graphical area, selection of brush size, probability of pitch selection with 11 keys to signify the traditional chromatic pitches of western harmony.

Here is a view of the tool in practice. A series of bow shaped lines are drawn on the graphical area and a pentatonic scale has been selected in the pitch probability field.


Once ‘GENERATE’ is selected and the result ‘DENSIFIED, a pixilated version of the original drawn gesture is presented which reflects the selected pitch material.

This particular gesture and pitch selection can be found in the recording below. Admittedly, the midi sounds are annoying however the intention it to generate the audio with a custom granular synth in the future.


A demonstration video of the instrument at work