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Sonification ≠ Music  

Carla Scaletti

Print publication date:
Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...of musical expression. 21.3.1 Important Distinctions between Data-Driven Music and Data Sonification Despite the fact that sonification and music share much of the same technology and techniques, there are some important distinctions between data sonification and data-driven music, and it is in the interests of both music and sonification to maintain a clear delineation between the two activities. 21.3.1.1 Teams and the Auteur Data sonification tends to work best when it’s a team effort. At this point in history, it is rare for one individual...

Performing Algorithms  

Kristin Erickson

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...calculate the value of π , and if so, to what decimal place? Now I consider this imagined style of algorithmic music to be a type of sonification. Carla Scaletti defines sonification as ‘a mapping of numerically represented relations in some domain under study to relations in an acoustic domain for the purposes of interpreting, understanding, or communicating relations in the domain under study.’ 1 My idea of algorithmic music is sonification, where the domain under study is algorithms . I have explored this approach from a variety of perspectives over the years. In...

Beyond Me  

Kaffe Matthews

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...their seasonal variety. Springtime fish-count data over rushing springtime flow really does make high-pitched energetic tunes; summertime slowing and becoming more chilled; sensuous, autumn lush and groovy; and winter, still and rich in monochromatic greyness. Using this direct sonification of river data to pitch and rhythm, the tunes created are also surprisingly tonal and singable for groups of eleven-year-olds or just inspirational for their own songwriting. The interesting point is that we had not only found a way to make music we never would have otherwise made...

Thoughts on Composing with Algorithms  

Laurie Spiegel

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Feb 2018
Online publication date:
Feb 2018

...fascinated by abstract structures and at times attempted the design of algorithmic languages for music (Spiegel 1982 –1984, 1984 /1985 ), my own use of logically defined musical processes has often begun as self-simulation (perhaps a new form of self-expression), or alternatively as a sonification of an extramusical phenomenon, or at times an exploration of curiosity or hypothesis (‘what would it sound like if … ?’). These attempts have run the full gamut from small logic modules that decide one specific aspect of something I am otherwise more intuitively creating (e.g. stereo...

Form, Chaos, and the Nuance of Beauty  

Mileece I'Anson

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Feb 2018
Online publication date:
Feb 2018

...originally designed for a diffusion system as four stereo pairs with each cycled section delegated to a combination of the pairs with the individual channel distribution relying on nondeterministic operators. For me, the exciting possibility of such a music is the referential sonification of some of the core mechanisms behind formulaic growth in natural systems and the subsequent creation of a recognisable ‘piece’ of music, where random or chaotically driven nuance in timbre and cadence coalesce to form a sort of fluttering livingness. Moreover, these factors dictate...

Algorithmic Trajectories  

Alex McLean and Roger T. Dean

Print publication date:
Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...results. David Worrall collaborated in developing this Python toolkit, and is well known for his pioneering work on computer music in Australia and on (algorithmic) sonification. Sonification is the sonic analogue of visualization, processes for (hopefully accessible) representation of data content in sound and image. With David and colleague Greg White, I made a 22:4 spatialized algorithmic sonification of multichannel brain EEG recordings (2002; http://www.icad.org ). Greg also contributed technical guidance in the early stages of austraLYSIS’s application of Max/MSP...

Algorithmic Music and the Philosophy of Time  

Julian Rohrhuber

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...it happened. 4 Sound here appears as a symptom of time. In the ambiguity between active and passive aspects of timing, it functions somewhere halfway between actively drawing together and identifying disconnected moments and passively signalling their coincidence. 2.3 Sonification of Algorithms In his transcendental aesthetics, Immanuel Kant argues that one should not try to understand time as a phenomenon or an object. Time is already an essential part of the means which our understanding of phenomena or objects requires in the first place: whenever we...

Notes on Pattern Synthesis: 1983 to 2013  

Mark Fell

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...elementary methods afforded by this simple pairing became central to my work in algorithmic and generative systems (as opposed to the encoding of harmonic or melodic structures, emulations of famous composers, the mapping of biological or mathematical systems to music parameters, the sonification of data, the extension of expressive gestures, or, any other methods typically associated with orthodox approaches to algorithmic composition). Although my parents supported my interest in electronic music production, there was a very practical limit to the resources they could...

Origins of Algorithmic Thinking in Music  

Nick Collins

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...experimental music technique, we might go on to consider many further precedents through novel compositional ideas. Lejaren Hiller points to mappings from data to music, such as Renaissance ‘eye music’ experiments as early graphical scores, and Charles Ives’s 1907 baseball game sonification ( Hiller and Isaacson 1979 , 47–48): ‘notes set on paper like men on a football field’ (48). Karlheinz Essl (2007) dwells on serialism in particular in his chapter survey of algorithmic composition, though he finds literary precedent in Goethe. We might also point to Earle Brown’s...

Colour is the Keyboard: Case Studies in Transcoding Visual to Sonic  

Margaret Schedel

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...found pictures into sound using the scripting language Lingo within Macromedia Director (Fujinaga, personal communication 2015), and these sounds were then randomized for a CD-ROM experience. The result is the sonic equivalent of infinite monkey theorem—some random sequence of the sonification of characters will match an original poem, but ‘Tone deliberately uses a process that obliterates the information contained in the images: given a sound wave as input, there is no algorithm that will return anything close to the original picture as output’ ( Ashley, Dekleva, and...

Network Music and the Algorithmic Ensemble  

David Ogborn

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...no. 3 (2010): 29–34. Cáceres, J.-P. , and Renaud, A. B. ‘Playing the Network: The Use of Time Delays as Musical Devices’. In Proceedings of International Computer Music Conference , 244–250. Belfast, 2008. Chafe, C. , and Leistikow, R. ‘Levels of Temporal Resolution in Sonification of Network Performance’. In Proceedings of the 2001 International Conference on Auditory Display , 50–55. Espoo, Finland, 2001. Chafe, C. , Cáceres, J.-P. , and Gurevich, M. ‘Effect of Temporal Separation on Synchronization in Rhythmic Performance’. Perception 39 (2010):...

Ethereal Timbres  

Emily Dolan and Thomas Patteson

Online publication date:
Oct 2018

..., it is perhaps more productive to acknowledge the role timbre plays here: many of Cox’s examples—long held drones, recordings of wind—belong to the class of ethereal sounds. Perhaps this points to another form of power wielded by ethereal tones: their ability to strike us as a sonification of our subconscious, our dream states, as if the harmony of the spheres had been within us all along. The idea of an ever-present, latent domain of reality that manifests in sound under particular, exceptional circumstances—this is in essence the idea of ethereal timbre. Put in...

Algorithmic Thinking and Central Javanese Gamelan  

Charles Matthews

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...work and the parameters most important to the composer. Established Javanese performance conventions have been used to reinterpret other musical styles in seminal American gamelan compositions ( Diamond 2000 ), as well as otherwise nonmusical information such as Lou Harrison’s sonification of a social security number in his piece Lagu Socieseknum ( Miller and Lieberman 2004 , 159). While not always set out in terms of strict rule sets or instructions, pieces such as these typically use outlines inspired by traditional practice — quantized information that affords...

Linking Sonic Aesthetics with Mathematical Theories  

Andy Milne

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Feb 2018
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Feb 2018

...014 . Milne, A. J. , Sethares, W. A. , and Plamondon, J. ‘Tuning Continua and Keyboard Layouts’. Journal of Mathematics and Music 2, no. 1 (2008): 1–19. Miranda, E. R. , and Biles, J. A. , eds. Evolutionary Computer Music . London: Springer, 2007. Mongoven, C. P. ‘Sonification of Multiple Fibonacci-Related Sequences’. Annales Mathematicae et Informaticae 41 (2013): 175–192. Morrison, G . ‘88 Cent Equal Temperament’. Xenharmonikôn 15 (1993). Nelson, G. L. ‘Real Time Transformation of Musical Material with Fractal Algorithms’. Computers and M...

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