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Austin Franklin's Music with Live Electronics

Austin Franklin, a friend of mine since our undergraduate days at Lamar University - before I jumped ship for Kent State, has been hard at work at Louisiana State University. Austin is completing his PhD in Experimental Music and Digital Media which includes writing code and designing specialized software within Cycling 74's program 'MaxMSP' for use in live performance with instrumentalists. While this is a large part of his work, Austin also composes music brought to the listener's ears by pure algorithms which have been presented at many festivals over the course of 2021. 

Lately, I had the pleasure of premiering his most recent piece, Concentric Circles, for Piano, Cello, Percussion & Live Electronics. With this piece he began finalizing his methodology and goals for his PhD and electronic music. This included a variety of specially coded programs within MaxMSP which manipulate data that are taken in through microphones listening to live performers then send that data out for further manipulation or directly to the listener via PA speakers. 

The few that were incorporated into this piece are not all that his work entails. Other pieces of his have used differently programmed algorithms which will become a part of his PhD and will eventually become open source programs for which the field itself can continue to build upon. 

Here are a sampling of other pieces Austin has written that include this technology: 

      Bloom (2021) - My personal favorite


        Rhythmic Mosaics (2021)

      Wind and Rain (2021)


Other Work

On Austin's website he includes a variety of services such as commissioning - his main line of work - recording audio and video, arranging, transcribing, mixing and mastering. His research (found here) has explored new methods of creating music with audience input, experiencing music through tactile means, and algorithmic accompaniment in music. 

Overall, his music covers a range of projects that I've always had on my to-do list but never have the time to dig into fully. Through his music and collaborating with him on two pieces so far, I definitely live vicariously through what he creates. 


  1. It's awesome that you have gotten the chance to work with Austin! This blog post is a great reminder to all of us that we ourselves, and those we sit next to are real life musicians who do valid work! You've also just given Austin 20+ new followers on his compositional journey. Very interested to know more about how the software program responds to the cello / music in general. Do the pieces sound the same every time?

    - Laura Ruple

  2. Your connection and collaboration with Austin seems so unique and special, thank you for sharing his work with us! I will definitely be checking out his work and research! I'm sure this exposure will be very good for him. I did not even know until reading this blog that a PhD in Experimental Music and Digital Media even existed, let alone that it involved writing code and designing software. Incorporating this into live performance is so unique, I hope I get the chance to hear this in person someday!
    -Abby Ryan

  3. Music performance is changing as technology advances. Your blog seems to show this very well like making a new sound using audio mixing. In addition, using a violin bow to play marimba was impressive. Thanks for sharing your blog and music. - Haksung Lee

  4. This is awesome! It's great to see how successful he is with such a range of music industry skills. I do music editing, mixing, and mastering on the side and I think it really affects how we listen to the music we perform. Also, very cool that you get to work with him. His uses of electronics are really unique, and I look forward to seeing how his work continues developing!
    -Molly Sanford

  5. Thank you for sharing! I'm so glad that I decided to click through and listen to Bloom! Lately, I've been down this rabbit hole of string playing with electronics and thinking to myself, "What are the possibilities with electronics with my double bass?" Sonically, Bloom was very satisfying to me because the resonance of all the effects weren't necessarily jarring or harsh. Just resonant!
    -Taiga Benito


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