Idee2

[ Idee 2, fixed medium, June 2009, 11m22s, WFS/Stereo ]

This piece is created out of computer generated sounds using two algorithms. The inspiration for the algorithms comes from animal swarm behaviour in nature. It's challenging to use swarm behaviour as a compositional strategy for spatial electronic music because it's such a successful and fascinating phenomenon in nature.

The first algorithm is based on the flocking behaviour of birds. This behaviour is described in the Boids (Bird-oid) algorithm by Craig Reynolds (1986). The other algorithm is based on repulsive behaviour of a group of masses connected by springs.

Idee 2 is composed for the wave field synthesis (WFS) system of 'The Game of Life'. This WFS system comprises of 192 specially designed loudspeakers and provides listeners with an immersive sonic experience that is impossible to experience in ones own home environment. Nevertheless also a two channel version was realised.

For this piece I used various numbers of connected swarm members to generate the sound material. From each swarm member it's speed, steering and position are derived. These parameters are used to control the frequency, filtering and amplitude of a dust-noise generator by Peter Castine. This approach resulted in a 'organic' variation in sets of impulses. A sonic skeleton you could say. Subsequently physical models of different types of sound material created with Modalys are excited with these impulses to give it flesh on the bones. The 'Idee2' composition demonstrates a gradual progression in between the different sonic landscapes that can be generated using the swarm principle.