Emergence in audibly-structured soundscape

emergence audiosystem audiosystem imprint in space imprint in space audiosystem->imprint in space field recorder field recorder audiosystem->field recorder perciever-performer perciever-performer imprint in space->perciever-performer imprint in space->field recorder perciever-performer->audiosystem perciever-performer->imprint in space

Figure: Emergence in place-language improvisation

Understanding emergent sound structures as macroforms emerging from interactions of the microforms.

macroform_from_microform cluster_0 real-time audio processor space space perciever-performer perciever-performer space->perciever-performer input input space->input perciever-performer->space perciever-performer->input process process input->process output output process->output output->space

Figure: Emergent macroform from microform interaction

A real-time composition, to let "the musical (macro-level) structure emerge from sound itself and its internal organization (micro-level)." 1

Resonating with selections from Analysing Audible Ecosystems and Emergent Sound Structures in DiScipio’s Music (Renaud Meric, Makis Solomos)1 :

While composing with an ecosystemic approach, the composer creates an audio system that interacts with the environment (i.e. space). This space, in which and from which music emerges, is also the listener’s space. Thus what emerges is the result of a confrontation between the listener’s cognitive system and the audio system used in the musical work. The emergent sound is difficult to define: its general outline is unpredictable and unstable; it is dependent on a dynamic musical space, which is constructed by active listening and an active audio system simultaneously.

focusing on the ephemeral moment in which music emerges in the interaction between the listener and the product of the audio system inside a specific space.

in reality, we don’t listen to sound but to its own “imprint” (empreinte), in the sense of the word developed by Georges Didi-Huberman (2008).

in his own music, Di Scipio opted for complex dynamic systems: “Chaos and the dynamics of complex systems, as accessible with iterated numerical processes, represented for me a way to compose small sonic units such that a higher-level sonority would manifest itself in the process” (Di Scipio inAnderson, 2005)

In one of his first articles (Di Scipio, 1994), he elaborated a “theory of sonological emergence”, whereby form (macroform) is viewed as “a process of timbre formation” (Di Scipio, 1994: 205)

The idea of emergent sound structures is related to the elaboration of a sub-symbolic theory. In the “theory of sonological emergence”, the emergence of a higher level should happen through grains and samples, neither of which are symbols, as they are located on a low level (cf. Di Scipio, 1994: 207). With composed interactions (cf. infra), Di Scipio puts the interaction at the signal level: all the information exchanges have a sonic nature (cf. Di Scipio, 2003: 272). We can draw a parallel between this strategy and the model of emergence in cognitive science. To the question “What is cognition?” the “computationalist” model answers “Data processing: the manipulation of symbols from rules” (Varela, 1996: 42), while the emergence model answers “The emergence of global states in a network of simple components” (Varela, 1996: 77). Regarding music, the issue at stake here is as follows: if we want the higher level (the macroform) to appear as an emergence and not as an independent construction, we have to work only at the lower level, abandoning the intermediate level, which is the level of symbols.

According to emergence theory, the emergence of sound structures is possible because of the fact that the composer develops systems (in the sense of cybernetics) close to living systems, which are characterized by their capacity for auto-organization

Whilst not directly applicable (much of the recordings of free play references past melodies played and familiar intervals), it speaks to an attitude of openness and responsiveness in dialogue with the current situation and other players through which the musical moment emerges.

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