Headless Monkey Attack is an electronic (and sometimes also acoustic) music project founded by composer Ryan Carter. At its core, Headless Monkey Attack performs live electronic music that is synthesized in real time from code that responds to input from a video game controller. This controller (the “Gametrak”) features two retractable tethers that can be pulled in any direction. By connecting the controller to my computer (this is Ryan speaking), I can manipulate whatever aspects of the sound I’ve coded to be interactive during the performance. The code also incorporates some randomized elements, so my performance is partially in response to events that I can’t entirely predict. The music is coded to ensure certain features are consistent (the duration of each track is predetermined, as are the duration and order of each section within a track), and the randomized features are kept within ranges of possible values that I’ve planned in advance. Each performance sounds in some ways the same and in some ways different.
Aesthetically, the music draws from different genres of electronic dance music (there’s some vaguely dubstep-y and glitch-y stuff) with a global sense of form more inspired by the long history of the Western classical tradition than the world of EDM.