Human Automation (MP3)

Justin Buckley uses a "rotating processes" approach to focus his musical productivity.

Much electronic music involves rules-based systems, algorithms that process input and produce output. These processes can be sequenced or nested or run concurrently or mixed with other approaches. Justin Buckley of Berlin, Germany, has acknowledged this aspect of his work by applying rules, in an external manner, to his own efforts as a composer. He’s selected four different “methods for writing music” and he rotates through them, producing one piece of music each week. The four methods are: modular improvisation, notation, field recordings, and live looper. He describes these in detail in the notes to “Calhoun’s Universe 25 [rotating-processes-looper],” which as its integrated tag suggests was the result of the “looper” process.

The noisily blippy digital conflagration that is “Calhoun’s Universe 25” resulted from the following approach:

A noise source was used to create semi-random sequences, which you hear at the beginning of the track, which was then used to ‘fill’ Ableton’s live looper plugin, which in turn became the very repetitive loop at the heart of this track. More controlled randomness is then layered over it all, plus some other elements to give it some interest.

The track was posted for free download at

One thought on “Human Automation (MP3)

  1. Wow, thanks very much for posting my track! That track was the end of the first ‘rotation’, starting today on the second round. What’s great about the idea is that I don’t have to worry about what approach I’m going to take next, it’s already set for me. Thanks once again.

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