ooo, great thread! especially considering I’ve been really deep into this way of working lately. also funny that you posted that link to the UCI course, I’m considering going to grad school hopefully for that exact sort of thing.
my friend Jonathan and I work together as Outer Heaven and just put out this new track (piece?) that I think exemplifies how we’re working right now:
it’s part of what is turning into an entirely new album, inspired by me digging through my large collection of recordings and samples - field recordings, loops from my modular system, tape loops, bits of noise, samples (the vast majority from videogames), live recordings of our performances, some high quality recordings made at Jon’s parent’s house in arlington we made when we were on tour, etc - and realizing that I was basically hoarding all these sounds and never using them. so we decided to self-impose a rule to only use pre-existing samples to make this next album, to finally utilize this huge collection.
it’s made me think a lot about composing, given that my only real input is how I effect, layer, and mix these sounds that I don’t otherwise modify. overall I try to let the materials speak for themselves - I like exploring what relationships emerge between two random pieces of sound, things that were recorded years apart, or on entirely different mediums (Jon’s paradigm is very digital, mine very analog, overall). the piece above emerged after finding a fantastic recording from tour of Jon that was very spaced out and incidental and trying to follow that thread.
in a nutshell I think my compositional method is one that tries to embrace emergent relationships. I try to avoid the trap that academically-rooted musique concrete sets of putting a huge amount of consideration into every sound, and thus losing the intuitive and subconcious element of musicmaking that I find essential to what I do.
if I have any rules, they’d be “keep things subtly moving, don’t overthink things, let the material lay a path and follow it”.