Park, Thomas

Generative, Electronic, Groove, Experimental (U.S.A.)

Thomas Park is a multi-disciplinary artist.

Though his primary art form is music, he has also created writing, visual art and video art.


As a Gen X-er, I have survived lots of doomsday predictions. And actually, I have watched things end, including the music industry as we knew it. Heralded by doomsdayers such as the KLF and the ancients of Mu Mu, an industry that used to provide a real dream for any small-town guitarist or singer to “Make it Bigdisintegrated into shreds of its former self. Was there a silver lining?

Two decades later, with ubiquitous technology, almost anybody could make music. The scene progressed until today, if you don’t have your own Bandcamp page and Youtube station, or at least know what those are– you are in the minority.

It just so happens that music really does have a universal quality. The world would not let it die, and nearly everybody has the desire for it, has talent for it, or both.

While this happened, I was finding success in the independent netlabel scene. Using systems to create music had been an interest all along. Fractal ambient and Techno music got me a short appearance in Spin Magazine in 2001. As the sporadically successful mystified, I often used systemic or phonographic-based composition methods. I founded my own netlabel, Treetrunk Records, to feature primarily generative music, in 2005.

Eno announced the arrival of the Generative Music Era some time ago. He himself has used systems in more of his works than people realize. Composing this way is quite habit-forming, quite addictive. I too have succumbed to its appeal.

When I mostly ceased releasing as mystified in 2017, I took a long break, archiving my works. Afterwards, it was generative that brought me back to composing. I took a coding class in 2018, and learned some Python. I developed my coding skills with a great passion and energy, and applied it to making music.

A main goal all along was to create systems-based music that was listenable, and less abstract than what was being made. I chose to work with samples and loop-based compositions. My works tend to be groove-based, but include elements that work above the groove, including phrases that differ through parts of each piece.

What began as an interactive tool with outputs similar to Steve Reich’s famous piece “It’s Gonna Rain”, evolved into a multi-genre code-based groove-making sequencer. With an interest to share this capability, in early 2021, Jeremy Pavier and I released the GenerIter, a Python module that enables coders to generatively sequence music for free.

A great joy of working this way is that it enables me to easily collaborate. I have worked with musicians such as Wilfried Hanrath, Nicholas Parrott, Igor Jovanovich, and many others.

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