Seminar and concert by Leonello Tarabella on the composer Pietro Grossi

18 May 2017

On Thursday May 18th, there will be two events dedicated to the Italian composer Pietro Grossi. At 15:30 in room 55.309, Leonello Tarabella gives a seminar on "The experience on computer music of Pietro Grossi in Pisa, Italy, in the centenary of his birth". At 19:30 there will be a concert in the Sala Polivanent including acousmatic works by Pietro Grossi and audiovisual interactive works by Leonello Tarabella.

Abstract of seminar:
I hereby report the approach of M° Pietro Grossi in using computers of the ‘70s and ‘80s for producing music.
Due to the low power of computers of those years (clock at 10 MHz and RAM memory of not more than 1Mbyte at the best), it was impossible to synthesize in real time audio signals of some relevance. The technique commonly used was the so called “offline” synthesis: this means that the computed samples of an audio signal were first cumulated sequentially on mass memory supports such as magnetic tapes or disks and then, in order to get sound, back-read and sent at the proper sampling rate to a Digital-to-Analog converter. As a result, depending on the complexity of the sound synthesis model and the number of voices of a composition, the process required even hours of computation for few minutes of music.
The philosophy of M.Grossi was that of “real-time”. For that, the special device “TAU2 audio terminal” was developed in Pisa at CNUCE and IEI, two institutes of C.N.R. (National Research Counsel) deeply active on researches on computer science.
Based on a hybrid electronic architecture (digital in control - analog in synthesis) TAU2 was able to play with polyphony of 12 voices under the control of a mainframe 370/68 IBM computer.
Once the TAU2 was assembled and put at work by the many engineers and technicians of both the CNUCE and IEI institutes, M.Grossi developed by himself the music programs writing down hundreds and hundreds of code lines in FORTRAN language, in those years the most popular language used by the scientific community.

Program of concert:
Pietro Grossi's acousmatic works: "Computer Music", "Paganini al Computer", "BACH/Grossi", "SATIE-JOPLIN-GROSSI", "SOUND LIFE".
Leonello Tarabella interactive works: "Strip lines", "Dance&Fluid", "Masses", "LHC", "Jacaranda", "Sound carrier", "Serenade".

more info on concert: concert program

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