Music And Chaos Theory

Peter wrote to us: Hello. I am a composer and I have been obsessed with four dimensional music recently. I don’t know what it is, even though it is a recurring idea. I have been reading a lot and have discovered that the world of fractals and chaos seem to have a definite relationship to four D. I am not a computer programmer, so I would not be applying this to a program but am interested in applying it to acoustic works.

Dear Peter,
OK. Let’s see what we can do.
How would you like to get started?

How to translate irrational numbers into a tangible working time signature — like Pi or Cantor Dust.

Take the digits of pi and set them to tune, using the numbers for chord progressions?

Anyone have ideas?


rick (guitar, vocals, sound engineering) replied:
Beyond my ability to compute, but interested in the outcome…..I have trouble just keeping 6 strings in tune

krishna (guitar, percussion, computer engineering) replied:
One interesting feature of fractals is the self similarity at various length scales.
Of course the length scales aren’t simple multiple or rationally related ¬†with each other which is what makes it fractal.
Not sure how one would play that without a computer.
I have a hard enough time staying with a band playing a regular meter :-0

chris asked:
Is this what you and Eric were working on?

I responded:
Yes. Here are a couple examples —

fransico said:
Dan, I gave your info. to Tumaini Johnson. Maybe you can explain your knowledge and insight on 4 dimensional and chaos theory to combine the two into music. I think it’s chaos systems within
a chaos system that can be duplicated into math sequences delivered through sound and visual effects??? cc me i would like to learn… and tumaini im sure will have a good canvas to create his own ideas.

tumaini wrote:
I’m a friend of Francisco Baiz he told me about your work with dimensional audio and some experimenting with algorithms and the sorts. I’m a music producer and audio engineer so this type of stuff got my attention. Francisco said that you would be able to explain exactly what 4D music is and its future applications to me, I’m very curious.

i try to explain:
About 4D Music and Chaos Theory Experiment
The experiment with four dimensional music and chaos theory started in the 1990’s. The word music may not be the best way to describe the experience; for now, since I do not know a word for this design invention, I will call it four dimensional music.

The experiment has evolved into solving the following design problem(s):
If you were to go on a real, real, real long roadtrip… such as in a spaceship traveling at a speed approaching that of light, what music would you take with you?

Because many of the people involved in the experiment are also musicians, we added the requirement that the design should allow for “live music” and the ability to see a concert.

The closest example of the concept that I can think of is helping a deaf person hear music.

I think the movie was called “Mr. Holland’s Opus” — the movie about Glenn Holland, a musician and composer who wants his deaf son to hear his music?

4D Music and Chaos Theory Part 2
4D Music and Chaos Theory Part 3

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