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 Forum index » Discussion » Composition
Strange Attractors: Creating Patterns in Chaos
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cebec



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:12 am    Post subject: Strange Attractors: Creating Patterns in Chaos Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Don't know if anyone has seen this.

The book's out of print but has now been made available on the author's site.

http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/sa.htm
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks for posting that link, iinteresting book !!

(not sure though if it should be in the composition forum)

Jan.
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cebec



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2005 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

yeah, i wasn't sure where to put it. feel free to move it wherever you think it fits best.
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

From the book mentioned above :
Quote:
With actual music, it turns out that there are many more notes of short duration than of long duration. There are roughly twice as many half notes as whole notes, and twice as many quarter notes as half notes, and so forth. This remarkable result seems to hold for all types of music from different composers and cultures. It is evidence of hidden determinism in music.


Whether this is actually true or not I don't know, but it seems to be interesting to experiment with.

Probably some composers already explored the use of this and other statistical properties of music in composition.

So I wonder ... does anyone have any pointers for me on this subject (before I end up with just another wheel) ?

Jan.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2005 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I have hear people use the term fractal to describe music, but this is really the first example of selfsimalarity I've seen.
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nescivi



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 6:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The master of using statistics in music was Xenakis.

He has written some books on it, and there is an often quoted Computer Music Journal article about his work (though I don't know the title just now).

But that would be a good starter to find out.


Another thing a lot of people seem to be hooked on is Markov models and hidden Markov models.
Those are basically based upon counting how often a certain note appears, how often one note appears after another, how often three notes in a row, etc. You can go as far as you can and apply it on different levels as well (notes, phrases, etc.).
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Kassen
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc wrote:
I have hear people use the term fractal to describe music, but this is really the first example of selfsimalarity I've seen.


Interesting that you should bring that up. Selfsimilarity in music has been on my mind for a while now, partially triggered by Road´s writing on scale in his "MIcrosound". Many of the techniques used to generate sounds can also be used to generate notes with some simple modifications. I´m not realy done with that thought yet, but thought it would be interesting to point out.

One thing this could possibly lead to is a conceptual modular system with only a few modules yet modules that can be used on many scales. Luckily mr. Smackos is away and so I can safely mention the Dual Universal Slope Generator as the possible source of our salvation in this field.

Another interesting (but completely different) take on this can be found on this site. That technique too could be argued to lead to selfsimilarness too. It might also be of interest to Nescivi who -like me- has developed a interest in a yet to be constructed grey area between baroque music and algorithems.

The overall thing these matters have in common does apear to be recursion, much more then -say- chaos.

Jan, for what it´s worth; I strongly feel this stuff belongs squarely in the middle of the composition forum. Reinventing wheels is a much better plan then most people think. The grand majority of people who use that expression simply do not realise the relative square-ness of the average wheel.

;¬)

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nescivi



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

for those who use SuperCollider... Julian Rohruber has made some interesting possibilities for recursive phrasing, which allows a very simple way of creating fractal music...
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Johnson's Self Replicating Loops article is very interesting, but without sound examples, I have a hard time following it after the introductory parts.

I have not used SuperCollider, but I have used Tim Thompson's Keykit program, http://nosuch.com/keykit/ , which is an algorhythmic composer's delight. (Tim is a member here, TJT, and is giving a talk at electro-music 2005.) In Keykit, I have played around with Markov chains but I've never liked the results musically.

Of course, random processes have been explored very deeply because they are so easy to create. Chaotic processes are more interesting because at times they are very periodic in nature and at times very random. The transisions between these states is interesting, like the transision between laminar and turbulent flow in fluid dynamics.

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Kassen
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The second half of that article doesn´t realy "sound like" anything, it´s a little trick to get around the set-theory stuff in a way that makes the material easier to aproach from a compositional point of view instead of a mathematical one.
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vostek



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

You guys know about fractal flames? They are based on the strange attractor principle. http://www.flam3.com/
http://www.electricsheep.org
http://www.apophysis.org/

It seems that this concept has been more successfully advanced in the field of visuals than in sound. I hope thats not the case for too much longer.I can imagine in my head the kinds of sounds that can be created with these algorithms, but of course i have no idea how to manifest the idea.
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mosc
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Those fractal flame images are beautiful. Please check the last link, it appears not to work.

EDIT-I fixed it for you based on EGWs post below.

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Last edited by mosc on Wed Mar 23, 2005 7:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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egw



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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

vostek wrote:
http://www.apophysis.org


Wow, thanks. That is exactly the software I have been looking for.

(corrected the typo)
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bachus



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Almost relevant to this thread is a simpleminded little algorithmic image generator I wrote that relies only on the sine and ellipse functions and bilateral symmetry in the creation of its forms. Bilateral symmetry is probably the most trivial kind of self similarity and is all that ties this program to this thread. The program runs under Win2000 and XP but would probably also run under NT. It needs a fast machine if it is not to be too boring. The signal to noise ratio is none too good. Only about one in a hundred images is interesting. Rather more rarely it produces something of startling interest and quality. On the other hand, if one's head is in the right place, it can be entertaining to watch it do its thing.

There is no manual, but under the menu option, Help, try "Tips and Commentary."

This program was written as an experiment in various methods of real-time interrupt of continuous background processes. The program's occasional sluggish or erratic response to its controls is the fruit of learning which methods don't work.

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mosc
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks, Bachus. I enjoy this program.
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

nescivi wrote:
The master of using statistics in music was Xenakis.

He has written some books on it, and there is an often quoted Computer Music Journal article about his work (though I don't know the title just now).

But that would be a good starter to find out.

I'll have a look at Xenakis, that name seems to be written all over the place indeed and I didn't really go into that sofar.
Quote:

Another thing a lot of people seem to be hooked on is Markov models and hidden Markov models.

I know ... this sort of defines the problem ... well it halped me see it in a different way.

Searching the internet reveals a lot of links going into techniques / algoritms of how to apply statistics in creating music. ButI was hoping to find some statistic "truth" about music, to use that to parametrize my own algorithms.

This hope though I now think, was an expression of laziness ... I should find my own truth in this. After all analyzing Bach in a statistical way & throwing the numbers into a model seems to yield Bach ... and that's not really what I want.

Took me a while to realize, but it was your mail that triggered the process. Thanks.

Jan.
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jksuperstar



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2005 11:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Has anyone used artwonk? http://algoart.com/artwonk.htm

I've heard much hype about it lately (especially after it got an EM Magazine Product of the Year Award). It can generate images as well as MIDI, but I don't know how different it is to something like MAX/MSP, Keykit, or Pd. However, I suppose some of it's examples might be "transposed" to something more familiar to many here...like the G2.

I like their style too

Quote:
Competing Programs

There are few programs that provide the compositional power of ArtWonk. We know of only two. We feel ArtWonk is far easier to use than either of them, and is arguably more powerful. But you decide. Both have web sites and both provide download trials. We are so convinced you will conclude ArtWonk is the superior program, we'll give you direct links to our competetors. Here they are:

Cycling 74 Max/MSP for Windows
Tonality Systems Symbolic Composer For Windows

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mosc
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I reviewed ArtWonk when it first came out. http://electro-music.com/forum/topic-784.html

I have used Keykit extensively in the past, but I've never gotten into using MAX/MSP.

John Dunn, the developer of ArtWonk has been working on this kind of program for years. He supplies good support. ArtWonk is, MIDI only. I found working with it frustrating because of timing issues with clocks, but I'm sure experts can work it out with tips and tricks. It's modular patching is not with cords, but with pulldowns and names. I prefer cord like the G2 has. Still, you can do some great things with ArtWonk and it's worth a look.

Keykit is a programming language intended for MIDI output. Since it a procedural language, you can do virtually anything. It has a graphical interface as well, so you can actually program up you own widgets and tools if you wish. I like Keykit's approach better, but I'm a programmer.

MAX/MSP is more extensive than either since it can process audio as well as MIDI and images. I find reading MAX/MSP programs on the screen a bit difficult, but so is ArtWonk.

Each has their own charm. For me, to do MIDI generation and realtime processing, KeyKit is my program of choice. But my first choice is the G2 with it's MIDI modules for realtime stuff like custom arpeggiators and MIDI stream transformers. .

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2005 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I had a problem with Artwonk´s smaller brother, I forget the name, it was the generation before wonk. I tried the demo and patched up what I thought should be fairly simple (admittedly it did involve easily over a hundered modules) and nearly brought the whole thing down. It was plagued by timing issues and realy, realy, bad clock jitter. in the end I had to quantise the whole thing down externally. It also suffered from "bit rot" in that saved files would randomly lose one or two connections and that every now and then modules would move around, that´s realy anoying if you are dealing with three figures of repetitive kinds of connection. Still, 2GHz of computer power should easily be able to deal with some midi without everything going to timing hell.

I prefer either cables or pure code, the problem with graphical interfaces is that it´s very hard to force a proper execution order for feedback loops. At least in the G2 it´s documented how this works...

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