Modeling Natural Systems in Immersive Electroacoustic Sound

Author: ORCID icon
Stine, Eli, Music - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Coffey, Ted, AS-Music, University of Virginia

How can models of natural systems be used to compose electroacoustic music? To explore answers to this question, the author presents software built in the Max programming language and multi-channel electroacoustic compositions made using that software that explore different ways to musically encode the processes present in three natural systems: flocks of birds, island shorebird habitats, and oyster reef ecosystems. The process of building and using representative models of these systems leads to their extension into novel, natural system-inspired sound production methodologies. Spatialization is privileged as a domain for both listening to systemic properties and as central to the compositional practice of telling ‘system stories’ through sound. Supplementing the presentation and discussion of these projects is an overview of relevant historical threads within the domains of natural computing, algorithmic acousmatic composition, sonification and data-driven music, live electronics, and software art, along with the introduction of an evaluative framework for work of this type. Broader topics explored include the musical potentials of different models of natural systems, the differences between how humans experience and computers encode natural systems, and how sonic re-embodiments of natural systems may be listened to.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
electroacoustic music, immersive audio, computer simulation
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