_derivations is an interactive performance system designed for use in improvisatory musical performance. The system is at the same time a musical work, a performance environment and a collaborative tool for use in improvised electro-acoustic performance. It has been under development over the past two and a half years as a part of my doctoral research at the University of Technology, Sydney. In this time, the system has taken to the stage in performance more than a dozen times, performing initially with myself on saxophone/s, and more recently with a growing number of interested improvising musicians.

_derivations works by recording and analysing the input of an improvising musician throughout a performance, and by making relationships between musical gestures stored in an expanding database and those being currently performed by the improviser. The system uses these recorded gestures as source material to bring back and modify live as its contribution to the improvised dialogue with the musician.

I have just recently launched derivations.net where the software can be downloaded. Check out the incrementally evolving video documentation also, to get an idea about how the software can be used in rehearsal and performance. The website also provides a central hub for all developmental and performance activities associated with _derivations, with links to audio and video examples, writings and a performance calendar.

Lastly, derivations.net is conceived also as a collaborative hub for users of the software. A unique feature of the software is its ability to save, merge and load various performance ‘sessions’ created by the user in both rehearsal and performance. These session files are comprised of the entirety of both the audio and analysis data that the system needs to interact with the musician in real-time, collected throughout an improvisatory performance. It is my hope that derivations.net will provide a tool to take this cumulative approach to interactivity in performance further, by enabling a portal for sharing and collaboratively building rich and diverse session databases, contributed by users of the software.

_derivations was programmed entirely in Max 6, and is available as a library of max abstractions and externals, as well as a standalone piece of software distributed as a dmg.

External max libraries and resources used to develop _derivations include:

HIRT, Zsa Descriptors, Ejies, CNMAT External Objects, OpenairLib Impulse Responses, IRCAM Forum objects

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Jul 07 2013 | 2:18 am

Really liked you work! thank you so very much for sharing )

Frans-Jan Wind
Jul 08 2013 | 12:35 am

http://derivations.net/ seems to be down.

Ben Carey
Jul 08 2013 | 12:43 am

My host is having service interruptions across their network – should be up in a few hours.


Ben Carey
Jul 08 2013 | 3:56 am

http://derivations.net is now back online

Jul 09 2013 | 9:57 am

_derivations is an amazing system!

Jul 10 2013 | 2:45 am

In the version of Max 613 sounds only p-voc1. а p-voc 2,3,4 there is no sound. I can not understand why such a problem

Jul 10 2013 | 10:30 pm

Hi Kluben – are you using the super vp or standard max distribution in 6.1.3?


Jul 10 2013 | 11:00 pm

I have just noticed that in 6.1 there is a minor change to the way that buffer~ accepts read and replace messages. This means that phrases are not being correctly loaded into buffers. This is very small and sneaky change to buffer~’s access to files stored on disk, I’m not sure why this has been changed.

I will need to re-program elements of the file management in the patch to account for this.

As a result, please don’t use _derivations in Max version 6.1 just yet.

Jul 11 2013 | 9:30 pm

Hi Ben. Thank you for Clarifications. I do not understand why the changes were made in buffer .I had to revert to the version max612 where _derivations it seems works well.

Jul 12 2013 | 12:48 am

i m using standard version _derivations. In Max612 rechecked, _derivations works fine. Problems with only Max613.

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