Alain Riou



The emergence and democratization of computers have drastically altered the way people perceive and create music. The appearance of affordable software to produce music has stimulated the creativity of amateur musicians by facilitating all the technical aspects of the musical production process: writing, recording, mixing and distributing music is much easier today than twenty years ago. Moreover, the digitization of sound has enabled those self-educated composers to have access to a wide variety of sonorities and atmospheres without needing to play an actual musical instrument. With a simple computer, everybody can become a composer.
How to encode music as a binary file has therefore become a major issue. Audio files are ideal for listeners but cannot be easily edited by composers. On the other hand, scores were the standard format for writing music, but writing scores ‘alla mano’ is tedious. Here comes the success of MIDI files that can be listened, generated from recordings, and easily modified with minimal software. I am currently working on helping artists to stimulate their creativity by enabling them to generate fixed-duration musical sequences directly in a MIDI file. The artist is therefore not replaced by the machine: they collaborate together and each one listens to the other’s ideas to suggest new ones that none of them could have found on their own.