The Mapping Problem: Swarm Intelligence in Music

This fall Signal Culture will publish the Signal Culture Cookbook containing a chapter called The Mapping Problem: Swarm Intelligence in Music that I wrote earlier this year. The chapter deals with all the potential problems that artists must deal with when using swarm intelligence in music, and shares shource code for several interesting mappings that I’ve used in the past.

A Quiet Place

Creativity in Algorithmic Music

Published in Hz Journal #18.

In this essay I am going to review the topic of creativity in algorithmic music [1], focusing on three perspectives on creativity offered by three groups of composers. The first section will review the definition of creativity offered by computational psychologist Margaret Boden. The second section will examine one possible measure of creativity. The next section will look at three different composers, their attitudes toward creativity and the way their algorithms embody those attitudes. Finally, I will critically examine the core questions that are being asked by algorithmic
composers.

Creativity in Algorithmic Music3.

Transient

The World in 3D

When I saw J. Dearden Holmes’ 3D pictures from the 1920s presented as animated gifs, I was struck by the incongruity between the images and their presentation. These were photographs shot in the 1920s that were meant to be viewed on a stereoscope. Yet they were being presented online as animated gifs, a format that didn’t come into existence until the 1990s. This incongruity inspired me to write incongruous music. So I embedded multiple incongruities in the music: incongruities between the music and itself, as well as incongruities between the music and the images.