Bill Canty   Composer, keyboard player, MIDI arranger
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A large part of my musical life has required the analysis and recreation of songs using synthesizers and a computer. Naturally enough, I've become reasonably good at manipulating sounds and emulating "real" instruments. But it's doubtful that many listeners care whether, for example, the saxophone they're listening to is real or synthetic; synthesizing a saxophone is merely a convenience - it's easier than learning to play the thing.

So now, focussing on my own projects, I like the idea of using those sound manipulation and imitative skills in a more imaginative way.

What music can be created with a computer and synthesizers that can't be created with real instruments and players? Is it limited to spacey or overtly electronic sounding music? Or can it sound more organic, even without being imitative?

Virtuosos often seem to be able to play anything, but they're still restricted to the capabilities of the human body and physical instruments. What would happen if those restrictions were taken away? What can the imagination do that fingers can't?

Obviously, for example, a computer can play at impossibly fast speeds, but that's just a short-lived novelty. What could be done that's musically effective but only possible with electronics? Do we instinctively find musical value only in what can be played by a real person on a real instrument? Or are there whole worlds of satisfying musical possibilities lurking in those circuits?

IMAGINABLE MUSIC is my attempt to answer those questions, beginning with Figments.