Ben + Zamyatin

NOT031 – Free Download – Release date 16th December 2013

Album Description:

Part I: I Have Forgiven Everything (16.26)
Part II: The Great Operation (13.47)
Part III: A Train Wreck (2.32)

This record is a document of three improvisations by saxophonist Ben Carey using scenes from the software system ‘Zamyatin’. Zamyatin was created by Ollie Bown for automated software improvisation. In the software, flexible precomposed musical structures are controlled by a decision system that responds to its acoustic environment like a bucket of water – external activity kicks it into motion, and what happens next is a result of the rich interplay between its internal elements. Chaotic transients triggered by sound from the saxophone give way to stable oscillations, or stasis. Ben provokes the system, but can never control it. But as a developer of interactive music software himself, he works comfortably with its digital idiosyncrasies, and masterfully guides the machine.

Named after the writer, Zamyatin, the system kicks against the musical future imagined in his dystopian world:“What difficulties our predecessors had in making music! They were able to compose only by bringing themselves to attacks of inspiration, an extinct form of epilepsy… How pitiful the willful music of the ancients, not limited except by the scope of their wild imaginations!”


Written and produced by Ollie Bown and Ben Carey.

Performed by Ben Carey and Zamyatin.

Ollie Bown: Software development / electronic sound.

Ben Carey: Tenor saxophone.

Recorded by Ollie Bown and Ben Carey at UTS MediaLab. Mixed by Ollie Bown and Ben Carey. Mastered by Casey Rice at Classix.

Cover text by Neil McCann. Layout by Neil McCann and Ollie Bown. Photo by Estelle.


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