Bill Seaman, Duke Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, USA: Recombinant music: Generative approaches

The lecture will take place in TANNA SCHULICH HALL, followed by a wine and cheese reception in the Wirth Lobby on the ground floor, just outside the lecture hall.

Bill Seaman will also present a live@CIRMMT concert on December 14th in Tanna Schulich Hall at 7:30pm. More information can be found here: Bill Seaman

bill seaman



Seaman has been making differing forms of music for his media works most recently in collaboration with a number of different musicians, but also as solo albums. He early on explored the creation of interactive media works which included interactive/generative musical scores of his creation. In this Distinguished Lecture, he will discuss Recombinant Music — multiple compositional strategies, the production of differing works, the use of super-collider to build libraries, auto-generative systems, and the working method he calls Structured Improvisation (his coin from the early 80s). His more recent work focuses on building compositions working with libraries in Ableton Live. He has been working with Mathew Kenny on a series of new interactive, generative music players. He is very much interested in AI and computational creativity. Seaman is self-taught as a musician and composer since the late 70s. He began working with tape loops, and building up tracks on a 4 track tape recorder working also with cassette tape loops. Early on (1983), he adopted the computer as a structuring environment for his works, first using Performer and Midi, then Pro-tools, and now Ableton live as well as proprietary software authored in Max MSP by John Supko [Duke Music Department] (often in conversation with Seaman). Seaman and Supko run a lab called the Emergence Lab focusing on Emergence in music, image and text.

[Photo credit:Working on the Oper& with John Supko - Photo by Supko]


Bill Seaman is a composer, musician, and media artist. He early on explored interactive and generative music (which he refers to as Recombinant Music, a sub-domain to his interest in Recombinant Poetics). He has been in multiple bands and collaborations. His own albums, SEA — Thoughtbody, and Songs and Dances of the Neosentient, as well as his album Entry with ATTSEA (working with Rafael Attias), are available on SoundCloud. He collaborated with Daniel Howe on an album entitled Minor Distance [Remixes by Craig Tattersall - The Boats, The Humble Bee, The Remote Viewer] (link available at; and collaborated with with John Supko on a project entitled S_TRAITS. Seaman and Craig Tattersall released a major project under the band name – The Seaman and the Tattered Sail called Light Folds. Seaman has also done numerous soundtracks for his media works. His recent solo release on Eilean Records is entitled Erasures and Displacements. He earlier released a solo album with Eilean entitled f(noir). Currently, he is working on two new albums, a solo album for Fluid Audio called The Epiphanies, and a new album of cover songs with Craig Tattersall on which he sings, entitled On the Precipice of Tears, also by The Seaman and the Tattered Sail. Supko and Seaman have been commissioned by Duke University (Mary Biddle Foundation) to create an experimental generative opera which will premier in 2018, entitled The Oper& (pronounced The Operand).

See for various links and historical documentation of media works. 


APA video citation:

Seaman, B. (2018, january 24). Recombinant music: Generative approaches -
CIRMMT Distinguished Lectures in the Science and Technology of Music. [Video file].
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