The Lejaren Hiller Computer Music Studios of the University at Buffalo Department of Music strives to offer students knowledge and tools allowing them to work independently on research and compositional projects, including algorithmic instrumental compositions, electroacoustic/tape pieces, works involving real-time interaction, and multi-media works which make use of specialized controllers, video, dancers and more.
Courses are taught making use of the Max/Msp/Jitter~ environment. Pd, C-sound, ProTools, and a variety of other software is also available and widely supported. Fundamental concepts of psychoacoustics, acoustics, digital signal processing, computer science, digital audio theory, and electronic music history are covered. The main production studio has a nine speaker (plus subwoofer) Genelec system that can quickly be reconfigured via software (5:1, octaphonic, quadraphonic, etc.).
This studio is also equipped with a Max/MSP computer and a ProTools computer digitally connected to each other. The Protools system can be controlled with a Mackie Control surface. The satellite studio has a four speaker Genelec setup, and software for real-time interactive computer music, electroacoustic works, algorithmic composition, and editing. It is used mainly for compositional projects and research.
Lejaren Hiller was born on February 23, 1924, in New York City. He received his BA, MA and PhD degrees in Chemistry from Princeton University. He also studied music theory and composition with Milton Babbitt and Roger Sessions. In 1958, Hiller received his MM from the University of Illinois where he founded the Experimental Music Studio.
In 1957, Hiller collaborated with Leonard Isaacson on the Illiac Suite, the first significant use of a computer in composition. The Illiac Suite (String Quartet No. 4) was so named for the Illiac computer on which the calculations for the score parameters were made. The Illiac computer would have been considered a supercomputer in its day. Hiller was able to tap the power of the Illiac for the generation and selection of large quantities of random values in a fundamental type of stochastic modeling known as "the Monte Carlo Method."
Lejaren Hiller's importance in the field of computer music cannot be overemphasized. Like Max Matthews's contributions to the realm of computer-generated sound synthesis, Hiller's work on the use of computers for the generation of musical parameters (such a s pitch, rhythm, duration, etc.) in pieces of music using traditional instruments, opened a door to new methods of music material generation, and simultaneously to the computer-assisted analysis of the process of music composition.
Lejaren Hiller Computer Music Studios
110 Slee Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260