appropriate response

aural ecosystem

the observational soundscape

the past is a ghost

< pulse train music

the sentiment machine

sferics 2: bell cloud

the soundscape composer

pulse train: a series of pulses having similar characteristics

music: the science or art of combining tones into a composition having structure and continuity

Pulse Train Music is a generative audio installation that models community behavior in the form of musical composition.

Each of five speakers behaves as an individual making decisions about what to do based on observations regarding the condition of its contiguous neighbors. In this process, each individual is trying to be like its neighbors (harmonizing) while disregarding the behavior of non-neighbors, a sort of cellular automata. Musical characteristics such as tempo, pitch, duration, and timbre (and the decision to rest) for each individual are derived from this decision-making. The musical activity as a whole is the community condition generated by locally responsive action (be globally, think locally), the emergent aesthetic patterning of cooperative endeavor.

I consider this piece a spiritual descendent of composers like Terry Riley, Cornelius Cardew, John Zorn and David Behrman who, at points, saw musical composition and performance as an initiative for community-based collaborative action as much as a decree of personal expression. The idea of musical construction as a model of cooperative expression, with all its variation, firmly structured but open to individuality, is the impulse behind Pulse Train Music.