generateMelodicSeed = slow 4 $ linger 0.5 $ repeatCycles 3 -- $ palindrome \n $ (+ (slow (irand (4)+1) (sometimes (inversion) (run (irand (4)+1))))) $ slow ((irand 3) + 1) $ e ("x"<~>(irand 8)) 8 $ "x*16"<~>(irand 5) d9 $ midicmd "start" # s "midi" do d9 $ midicmd "stop" # s "midi" hush d4 -- $ rev \n $ note ((scaleP scalePattern -- $ off 4 ((+ 2 ).slow 2) \n -- $ off 1 (inversion.slow 2) \n $(rotR 1.5 ) $(+ slow 8 "x" <~> generateMelodicSeed) -- $ inversion \n $ generateMelodicSeed ))#s "[pe-gtr:12,midi]" #gain 1.2 #orbit 3 #midichan 4

Cut-up Technique

Pioneered by poet William Burroughs, cut-up technique is the process of dissolving some corpus of text into its component words and generating poetry from those words. This generated poem can be left as is or subjected to further polishing and editing.

Burroughs would literally cut the words out with scissors and pull them from a hat when constructing poems. Poets now also use computers to assist them in creating cut-ups.

The generation techniques can be stochastic or deterministic.

The technique is popular with songwriters looking to surprise themselves or play with language. Thom York, David Bowie, Robert Pollard, and Jeff Tweedy are among some of the artists who occasionally use cut-up technique in their writing.

I wrote a program to assist me in creating my own cut-ups. I named it after Bob Pollard. It creates a 1st order markov chain based on the corpus text and is (mostly) capable of fitting its results to a predefined syllabic scheme.


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