In this essay Dr Tony Myatt describes how processes and systems were applied in early experimental music, and contrasts two approaches to the use of systematic and algorithmic processes in experimental computer music. He distinguishes two practices, one based on the evolution of historical models which emphasize a rationalist position, and another more radical contemporary approach based on the material substance of computer sound and technological processes.

Dr Tony Myatt is the Director of the Music Research Centre at the University of York, UK. He is the principle investigator of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council’s New Aesthetics in Computer Music Project. He is an author, software programmer and academic working in the field of computer music, surround sound and electronic music composition, and was a founding editor of CUP’s journal Organised Sound. He works closely with Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary (T-B A21) on the development, implementation and curation of “The Morning Line”, a large scale public sculpture and surround sound installation. He has collaborated on the creation of new multi-spatial works with artists including Yasunao Tone, Bruce Gilbert, Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Florian Hecker, Peter Zinovieff, Lee Renaldo, Jana Winderen and Chris Watson.

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