The top half of this diagram shows Luke's melody on the left and my variations on the right (different colours represent different notes). He chose Melody 1.9 and turned it into Melody 2.0. The bottom half shows Melody 2.0 and its variations.
Nature creates wonderful things through the process of evolution, so I set out to see if we could create interesting music using the same idea.
I invited the American composer, Luke Cissell, to write the music. He wrote a melody and I created 9 variations (basically, I mutated his melody in the same ways that DNA is mutated in evolution). He chose one, worked on it, gave it back, and I mutated it again. The piece evolved from many repetitions of this back-and-forth process, just as new species evolve in nature.
The finished piece, Mutatis Mutandis, features Luke himself on piano. It can be heard on this album, along with more of Luke's exquisite compositions.
Luke kindly provided me with this feedback on the process:
When Tia asked me to work with her on Evolution of Music, I was excited to get more of a look into the mechanics of this process of weaving order out of chaos. Working with Tia provided me not only with insight into the often sublimated decision-making that is happening in my own creative process, but also an opportunity to consider and incorporate changes, mutations, variations, and so on that I wouldn’t have arrived at on my own.