Concert     Installation     Film

Law of Fives


bass clarinet




This piece uses real-time notation and requires the performers to sight-read music as it is algorithmically generated during the performance. The piece is "cartographically" composed in the sense that the large-scale structure is mapped by the composer but the surface details are left to the computer and performers to determine. All material is based on a quintal (in contrast to duple or triple) rhythmic system: larger values are only divisible by five, which in turn are further divisible by five. Pitch material is based on an attractor system where two centricities trace independent arcing paths throughout the piece. The work exhibits five primary states of being that determine its overall form.

The Law of Fives states simply that: All things happen in fives, or are divisible by or are multiples of five, or are somehow directly or indirectly appropriate to 5. The Law of Fives is never wrong.
—Malaclypse the Younger, Principia Discordia, Page 00016

Special thanks to Daniele Ghisi at


This piece does not have fixed notation. Instead, the notation is generated live during the performance. Microphones placed near each of the performers allows the computer to analyze aspects of their playing which then influences the resulting notation and electronics. Attacks on the marimba, for example, change resonance characteristics in electronics while the viola’s dynamic envelope influences note density in the notation.

The notation is generated in the moment of performance and requires the performers to sight-read the notation in front of an audience. This is an incredibly vulnerable act to ask the performers to engage in. The goal of a performance of the piece, therefore, is not about perfect adherence to the demands of the score, but about the interaction between human and artificial intelligence. The performers should attempt to both read the music as accurately as possible and respond to and influence the computer’s musical decisions.


Due to the live-generative nature of the notation, the musical directions must be read from a computer display. In order to facilitate ease of use for performers, the software that displays the notation has two windows: the main window, where microphone inputs and speaker outputs are set, and the notation window, where the performers will read from full score.

The windows are fully annotated below to aid in software navigation.

law_of_fives1      law_of_fives2


This piece requires rehearsal despite the fact that you will be sight-reading during performance. Rehearsal with the software will give the performer a general sense of how the piece unfolds, what they might expect to play, and an ear for the types of interactions available between computer and performer.

Several sample scores are available as videos. These are intended to provide the performer with a sense of the work and not to be used as live performance scores.

These videos can be found here:
Sample Score 1
Sample Score 2
Sample Score 3


Please contact the composer directly for links to download the performance software and sample scores.