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John Free: Biography

John Free

Region: Ontario

John Free

John Free has been active in the contemporary music scene since 1976, when he first attended the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University studying twentieth-century music composition. In 1979 he began working in the commercial music industry at Grant Avenue Studio in Hamilton with composers Edward Roth and Daniel Lanois.

In 1982 Mr. Free returned to school, and attended the University of Toronto in computer science, where he worked extensively with William Buxton, pursuing his interests in integrating computers and the arts.

Since 1984 Mr. Free has designed computer software for use in music education, composition and performance for Helicon Systems Inc., a company he founded with his partner Gregory Roberts. His achievements at Helicon Systems include: a real-time operating system for high speed graphics and music, MIDI to music notation transcription software, digital sound processing applications, a desktop video system, gesturally driven conducting software, several windowing environments and many application programs.

Free's experience in creating software has had a profound effect on his artistic output. For the past several years he has been concentrating on composition by computer, using recursive algorithms to assist in generation of musical material. His compositional interests centre around forms based in evolutionary processess, such as those found in feedback loops, wherein musical elements are products of their own history and influence future musical progress.

Free is on the board of directors of the Computer Music Association and a member of the Canadian Electroacoustic Community.

Canadian Electroacoustic Community, SOCAN