Current Projects

The Ghost in the MP3

paper presentation forthcoming at the 2014 SEAMUS National Conference

from The Ghost in the MP3

The MPEG-1/2 Layer III standard, more commonly referred to as MP3, has become a nearly ubiquitous
digital audio file format. First published in 1993, this codec implements a lossy compression
algorithm based on a perceptual model of human hearing. Listening tests, primarily designed by and
for western-european white men, were used to develop and refine the encoder. These tests
determined which sounds were perceptually important and which could be erased or altered without
being noticed. This has inadvertently created a class of privileged sounds. A format calibrated for
suboptimal listening environments has invaded nearly every contemporary listening space. It
acts as a curator, determining which sounds can and cannot enter these spaces. In this paper,
I develop techniques to recover the sounds which are discarded by MP3 compression. I then use
this salvaged audio as the primary musical material in a series of new compositions.

(view PDF)

Cats Kill Birds

waking, dreaming, trance, euphoria

ROME Travelogue

a film by Connor Owens
music and sound design by Ryan Maguire

for pedal steel guitar, found sound, and electronics

Algorithmic Non-coincident Rhythmic Prolation Canon Generation

Theoretical essay on using prime powers for canon generation in progress

Blood Red Sun

for amplified string quartet, amplified guitar, percussion, pedal steel guitar, electronics, and voices

(view text)