Marcin Pietruszewski: Experimental System as Reversed-Musicology

An integral element of Pietruszewski’s compositional practice incorporates an engagement with historically inherited sound synthesis techniques and computational methods of composition. Drawing upon this specific practice, the presentation attempts to speculate a perspective on source materials which sees them primarily as a result of the process of exegesis rather than its starting point.Within such a perspective, instead of things recovered (i.e., these which exist prior to our engagement) we deal with things produced in the very process of engagement with historical work. Such perspective problematises the very notion of temporal precedence of source materials (or roots) to the interpretative work. It also allows to incorporate musicological knowledge into the process of experimentation open to creative dialogue with tradition. The material point of departure for the talk is the New Pulsar Generator (nuPG) program designed by Pietruszewski. The talk includes a demonstration of the program in conjunction with a set of compositional methods developed as a result of reading and, more importantly, listening to Xenakis’s work. 


Marcin Pietruszewski (born in 1984, Poland) is a composer and researcher. He is engaged in sound synthesis and composition with computers, exploring specific formal developments in the tradition of electroacoustic music and contemporary sound art. He works across composition, pluriphonic installation, and radio productions. Recurring interests of his practice include synthetic sound, algorithmic systems, and the integration of scientific formalisms as compositional materials. Works exhibited at West Court Gallery (Edinburgh, 2019), Remote Viewing (Philadelphia, 2019), and Institute of Contemporary Arts (London, 2017). Commissions by CTM Festival (2021), ZKM Karlsruhe (2018) and Deutschlandradio Kultur (2016).

Marcin has experience as an educator, designing and delivering courses focused on digital instrument design, digital signal processing, sound theory, and practice. He has taught at The Reid School of Music (Edinburgh College of Art, UK) and Design Informatics (The University of Edinburgh, UK). He also writes on issues related to computer music histories, aesthetics, and technology. His texts have been published by Hatje Cantz and ZKM among others. Currently, Marcin holds a position of the Leverhulme Research Fellow in Data Perceptualization and Aesthetics at the Department of Computer and Information Sciences of Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK. Marcin lives and works in Berlin.