Coming Together

Coming Together: Notomoton (2010)

Live performance system for percussionist, robotic percussion, and realtime composition system

Coming Together: NotomotoN was inspired by the NotomotoN robotic instrument, created by Ajay Kapur. Given a composition’s overall duration, individual sections are calculated in which a rhythmic tala is interpreted by the agents, one of whom is the Notomoton, in unique ways. The human performer improvises over the dynamic environment, and his playing is interpreted by the agents in ways that affect the resulting music.

Coming Together: Freesound (2010)

Realtime soundscape composition

An autonomous soundscape composition created by four autonomous artificial agents. Agents choose sounds from a large pre- analyzed database of soundscape recordings (from, based upon their spectral content and metadata tags. Agents analyze, in realtime, other agent’s audio, and attempt to avoid dominant spectral areas of other agents, selecting sounds that do not mask one another. Furthermore, selections from the database are constrained by metadata tags describing the sounds. Thus, water sounds may trigger other water sounds, or agents can choose to oppose contextual references. As the composition progresses, convergence is further facilitated by lowering the bandwidth of the agent’s resonant filters, projecting an artificial harmonic field upon the recordings that are derived from the spectral content of the recordings themselves. Finally, each agent adds granulated instrumental tones at the resonant frequencies, thereby completing the “coming together”.


Coming Together: Beauty & Truth (2010)


The agents begin playing phrases of a single pitch, at unique tempi and time signatures. They listen to one another, and attempt to converge their phrase beginnings and lengths. At the same time, they negotiate a group harmony by moving their pitches in relation to other agents in order to create a “harmonious” relationship. Once agents acheive initial harmonic success, they add additional pitches around their chord tones: these pitches are also negotiated so as to create a “harmonious” result. Lastly, agents attempt to acheive a collective volume; however, individual agents may “break away” from the group, and play at either a much higher (or lower) level. The end result should be a “coming together” of tempo, tala, volume, and harmony.

Beauty and Truth are the original (and far more poetic) names for Top and Bottom quarks. Quarks are elementary particles of matter with extremely short lifetimes that can only be observed in the most precise conditions (i.e. particle colliders); similarly, the Beauty/Truth agents are only born when specific conditions have evolved within their world. Their lives are beautiful, but extremely short (in comparison to the other agents); similarly, they demonstrate the “truth” of the environment within which they exist.

Coming Together: Shoals (2010)

Artificial Life Installation

Exploring Ollie Bown and Jon McCormack’s notion of sonic eco-systems – using elements of artificial life, but tuning the systems for creative purposes. Audio becomes for artificial lifeforms, who consume it through granular synthesis, using Diemo Schwartz’s CataRT system. Agents form social networks, and converge parameters over time.

  • brief audio example of 48 agents