*leitmotif: algorithmic psycho-music*
"only as an æsthetic phenomenon is
existence and the world justified"

- nietzsche



leitmotif: algorithmic psycho-music

bauhaus meets cognition meets proust. a series of algorithmic compositions exploring the uncanny invocation of mood and psychological conditions through musical parameters.



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10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

above: fear and trembling (2003). notes: through-composed, widest tessitura, no rests



at the heart of the modernist music project lies mis-memory. in bartok in webern in satie in cage, there is a playfully devious re-negotiation of musical discourse and structure. often out of the materials of classical and folk music, modernist composers make something convincingly familiar yet disquietingly unrecognizable-- herein lies an uncanny valley of experience.

whence the agon between canny and uncanny? i regard the source as mis-remembrance-- the failure of the faculties to recover thematics given sensations specific to those thematics. mis-rememberance is first associated with a particularly biting agony. second, it is associated with fear, because through the audition, as familiarity lingers, the discomfort of irresolution chokes the body. the psyche is affected, and agency becomes that extrusion through a tubular compulsion to solve this mis-remembrance.

leitmotif is a psycho-music robot composer which creates unholly bassi continui out of half-submerged memories of once-familiar tunes. iconic melodies are digested, de-familiarised, and re-assembled into anxious and unsatisfying {de,ar}rangements. the experiencer is thrown into a tumble of unnominated and unknowable moods and sensations. agency, here, is futile resistance.



recent tracks

1. fear and trembling
2 . the young and the useless
3. queer minuit
4. old mcdonald had a stroke, eieio
5. i want to sleep




H U G O . . L I U ...
program in comparative media studies, mit

the media laboratory, mit
if you like my work, please link to me
hugo at media dot mit dot edu