In C++ is a software interpretation of Terry Riley's landmark minimalist composition In C (1964), written in the C++ programming language. It can be presented as a multichannel installation or live performance.

An ensemble of virtual performers navigate through Riley's 53 repeating bars, individually making real-time decisions about what notes to play and when, and ‘listening’ to each other in order to create a harmonious performance. The performers generate MIDI data which can be sent to both digital and physical synthesisers, as well as other MIDI-compatible devices such as lights. Consequently the piece can be played using a wide range of sounds and technology that the music wasn’t initially written for, or that even existed, in 1964.

The physical exhibition of In C++ draws acute attention to the computation behind the generation of the music, leading us to consider how chance-based music and the decisions of improvising performers can be represented algorithmically.


Photographs show In C++ exhibited as part of Metasis, the 2016 MA/MFA Computational Arts Graduate Exhibition, Goldsmiths University, London, U.K.