Petri Kuljuntausta


Exposition: Algorithmic Thinking and Musical Performance (29/03/2018) by Mieko Kanno
Petri Kuljuntausta 21/05/2019 at 12:12

The following peer review was presented to the author during the process and has influenced the final exposition. It is here presented in a slightly edited form.


Petri Kuljuntausta:


The subject of the exposition is closely connected to the theme of the call: How to do things with performance? The writer’s goal is to analyse how we can find the idea of algorithmic method from musical performances.


The subject is interesting, as we don’t know much about the processes and decisions that musicians do in real time in the performance situations. The writer has fresh ideas, the writer also finds examples on algorithmic thinking from real life and with the help of these the writer gives a good example on the different algorithmic processes.


The most important value of this exposition is how it turns our minds to find algorithmic thinking and processes from the performance situation and real-time musical decisions.


The exposition is interesting as an artistic research, as we don’t have much research material from this area. As the writer is also a musician, this gives inner sight for the subject and thus the research is based on the musician’s own experiences, too. The writer has ability to research the subject objectively and present the ideas systematically and logically.


The opening paragraph in READ ME FIRST chapter is problematic. The idea of an 'unfinished performance' is not clear and I don't know what the writer really wants to state.. This paragraph should be edited (or deleted).


The writer introduces too many examples of algorithmic actions of everyday life. Instead, I would like to read how the writer takes a step further and introduces more examples on algorithmic thinking in different musical performances. At the end of the chapters Affordance and Combinatoriality, we get only one musical example.


In the Abstract, the writer states about the goal of this writing: "A particular focus is given to the function of algorithmic thinking as a performative skill in action." But sometimes the writer forgot to stay with the subject. For example, in the chapter Combinatoriality, the main focus is in the preparation of the performance. It is interesting to learn how different musicians make preparations for a concert, but this goes slightly off the track as in this analysis the question is about the actions of music performance, not the actions before the performance (like the description on how to prepare the musical material, like pages of the scores, before the concert performance).


There is no problem with the design and navigation, they work logically and support the ideas of the exposition.


This submission is important. It will open up new ideas about the musical performance. The submission provides new knowledge, insights, and interpretation. However, there is some minor problems with the content and sources that I have mentioned, and these should be corrected before publishing. Also, I missed references to other research projects and articles from this field (a different perspective on the human side of algorithms).


Despite my critical comments, I find this text stimulating and it is clear that if the writer elaborates the ideas in next writings, it will help musicians even better to understand algorithmic actions and decisions during the performance.