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Kettle Black Features


Profile To-Go: Charlie Baker
by Craig Conley

Charlie Baker, of San Carlos, CA, is one of those remarkable people on the sonic edge who not only compose music but invent new ways of understanding it and expanding its creative potential. Baker plays Renaissance wind instruments and strange electronic machines and programs that make sounds. However, his main personal research interest lies in writing code to generate control parameters for software synthesis. He seeks to answer questions such as: Where does intelligent paramenter generation leave off and “algorhythmic composition” begin? He asks us to consider: what is a crescendo? to a listener? a performer? a composer? How does one notate a crescendo? in written music? in a software synth language like csound? in Baker’s huge, strange computer music instrument with 3 or 4 interacting parameters that affect volume? Baker’s website offers RealAudio files of a few select moments from some of his works, as well as original software utilities and Zen Buddhism links.