What is it about?
In the evening of August 9th, 1956 on the University of Illinois campus, Lejaren Hiller and research associate Leonard Isaacson debuted the Illiac Suite, a composition for string quartet. It was the first score composed with the first institutionally-owned supercomputer. Their programming feats and the Suite's public reaction tell us a lot about the early days of computers, and also reveals how current digital artworks owe much to these early computational artworks.
Why is it important?
The Illiac Suite is the first computer-generated score, performed on the University of Illinois campus. Lejaren Hiller would go on to found the Experimental Music Studio (EMS), internationally renowned for creative and technological advancements in the field of electroacoustic music.
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This page is a summary of: A Musical Suite Composed by an Electronic Brain: Reexamining the Illiac Suite and the Legacy of Lejaren A. Hiller Jr., Leonardo Music Journal, December 2018, The MIT Press, DOI: 10.1162/lmj_a_01037.
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