News

The latest Opus+ news and updates

Opus+ v1.0 Released (9/5/2011)

The first version of Opus+ is complete and ready to download from here! :-)

There are two components you can choose from and both are distributed as stand-alone JAR files. The first is the Opus+ library which contains a JAR file built with debug turned on, all the source code, all the documentation including the javadocs all ready to use in your own projects. There is also an ant script to rebuild the entire thing.

The second is the Opus+ Neos GUI also distibuted as an independent JAR file, which gives non-programmers a 'soupcon' of Opus+ composition. The user is presented with four buttons each of which generates new musical compositions using the Constrained Random Generation (CRG) algorithm, but each button uses different constraints to influence the output in different ways. 'Open Random' is the least constrained, (and therefore the least predictable), and the other three use a variety of constraints to create music in different musical styles.

Pictures from Opus+ Debut Performance (17/6/2009)

Opus Debut at RopeTackle The performance was a joy; to hear Opus+ creations played on real instruments on a public platform by professional musicians for the first time was simply beautiful; by providing a hint of just what is possible it has brought the whole Opus+ project to life in a subtle and profound way. The final line up was Richard Durrant (guitar and synthesizer), Paul Austin Kelly (tenor and muted trumpet) and Alexandra Urquhart (viola), augmented by the expert stage lighting and projections courtesy of Malcolm Buchanan-Dick. More pictures from the performance can be seen here

Debut Performance of Opus+ Generated Music (8/3/2009)

On Wednesday June 17th 2009 at 8pm the Ropetackle Trust in collaboration with the University of Sussex, presents an Adur Festival programme at the Ropetackle Arts centre in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex bringing art and science together. This multi-media event entitled Symmetries, Scales, & The Origin of Everything uses Opus+ generated music as the fundamental basis of a musical composition linking the realms of science and art. The piece will be written for guitar, synthesizer, operatic voice and viola (and maybe other instruments) and feature many chromatic and serial elements. It will be performed by musician, Richard Durrant with opera singer, Paul Austin Kelly and installation artist, Malcolm Buchanan-Dick, and also includes a lecture on quantum physics from Professor Philip Harris, a leading particle physicist from the University of Sussex. Opus+ generates the composition using experimental data from the Insitute Laue-Langevin in Grenoble measuring the Electric Dipole Moment (EDM) as the basis for every compositional decision; patterns in the data are rendered directly into musical structures including rhythmic patterns, pitch, interval and harmonic elements.

Opus+ MIDI Sounds Greatly Improved (27/1/2008)

We recently undertook a small survey, entirely organized by Thomas Marriott, and as a result of the feedback we have received from everyone who took part, to whom we offer many thanks, we have started to examine a few of the very good ideas that arose. The most pressing issue made by everyone who has seen and heard this work concerns the rather poor quality of the MIDI files produced, so we decided to experiment with importing the MIDI files produced by Opus+ into Apple Logic Studio Pro . The results are quite remarkable! Now the production quality does not get in the way of hearing the composition, and it is much easier to judge the nature of the musical compositions produced by Opus+.

There are now four new example compositions to hear in the Opus+ examples area which include; a PDF of the score, a rough mix of the composition output from Apple Logic and the original MIDI file generated by Opus+ by way of comparison. These rough mixes were exactly that - 'rough' - and involved only very simple changes to the input data. These included:

  • Choosing MIDI voices for each instrument
  • Setting the relative volume levels between each instrument
  • Adding reverb to each track
  • Panning the instruments across the stereo image

No other studio techniques were applied, and there are no dynamic changes to the mix as the music progresses, for example track mutes, MIDI voice changes or fades. We have also updated the download area to include links to MIDI versions of all the existing example pieces posted so far, but we have not had time to mix these down through Apple Logic. If anyone with access to studio software such as Apple Logic or Garage Band wishes to remix any of these pieces, we would be very interested to hear what can be made of them, and we would be happy to post any returned to us up on the Opus+ site.

Let us know what you think!