This paper is an investigation into the possibilities and consequences of computer-based song writing. Computer musicians transcend traditional instrument and composition techniques: the computer becomes the instrument. New musical avenues take shape through processes of experimentation within the computer and DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). The experimentation process of trial and error illuminates core elements that then can become the basis for the work. The core elements within this research are musical instrumentation, fundamentals of sound, chance and compositional processes.

Space and Light is an album resulting from each aforementioned core elements of research. The computer and DAW is the platform where all sounds are inputted, arranged, manipulated, and then outputted. This production process evolved into the creation of completed songs, with the collection of songs resulting in an album. Space and Light is an album of eclectic sound environments, musical styles and sonic-moods. Each track from my album resulted from initial experiments created within the computer.

The concepts within this album began by experimenting with the computer as an instrument. I began to draw parallels with the computer and traditional acoustic instruments. Jacques Barzun’s machine-like descriptions of a piano being “…the most appalling contrivance of levers and wires this side of the steam engine” helped me continue to further explore this idea (Cox and Warner 2004, p. 113) and ultimately ask “what constitutes an instrument?” Realising the comparative nature of an acoustic instrument with a machine broadened my research and opened me to the potential of the computer.