PRACTICE-LED RESEARCH / RESEARCH-LED PRACTICE IDENTIFYING THE THEORY AND TECHNIQUE OF SONIC SPACE ECOSYSTEMS

Dissertation

This is a complete collection of associated documents and media. This includes  audio and video documentation, as well as links to scores and code for the dissertation.

This dissertation was defended on November 11th, of 2016.

It was submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
Doctor of Philosophy of Music Technology in the Steinhardt School of New York University.

Abstract

This dissertation defines and explores the practice of composing and understanding sonic space ecosystems; a type of eco-art and interactive music system. As such, this dissertation work includes this thesis, a tutorial of composition techniques presented as a set of SuperCollider scripts, as well as the seven compositions completed during this study; including their scores, code bases, and resulting media documentation. This work builds and expands on the larger Sonic Spaces Project, which is an ongoing creative research project into this specific type of sonic ecosystem. While focusing on Phase II from the Sonic Spaces Project and using the practice-led research / research-led practice method, the work for this dissertation has iteratively developed a definition of sonic space ecosystems, that is grounded in both practice and extant knowledge from the fields of general systems theory, complex systems, cybernetics, ecosystems, emergence, and interactive music systems. Building from this definition, the practice of sonic space ecosystems is placed in relationship to the larger field of interactive music systems. The definition and composition techniques resulting from this study are then discussed in relation to each of the seven compositions. The presentation of these compositions involves a description of the technical processes and aesthetic goals underlying each work, as well as how each was used to test theory and compositional techniques. Further discussion examines how the processes involved in developing each composition contributed to, or altered, the direction of dissertation work itself. The work from this dissertation provides new information and techniques to the practice of a style of composition that is unique to this project while providing practical information that can be applied to a more general practice of feedback-based sonic ecosystems.

Committee

Professor Tae Hong Park, Chairperson

Professor S. Alex Ruthmann

Professor Douglas Repetto

Professor Scott L. Miller (Outside Reader)

Professor Robert Rowe (Outside Reader)

Document Downloads

All download links are for PDF’s.

Chapter Five - Practice-Led Research / Research-Led Practice into Sonic Space Compositions

The following are embedded video and audio documentation, as well as links to scores and code, for each sonic space ecosystem composition associated with the dissertation. (Note: These same materials are also available on each compositions individual project page, available on this site.)

Sonic Space no. 5; Iteration no. 1 - Installation

Sonic Space no. 5; Iteration no. 2 - Concert Version

Timbral Hauntings; Sonic Space no. 6

Sonic Space no. 7; The Harmonically Ecosystemic Machine

One Deliberate Day - Sonic Space no. 8; Iteration no. 1

PRECUNEUS - Sonic Space no. 8; Iteration no. 3

Sonic Space no. 9: for deliberate sculptural agents

Chapter Six - Discussion of the Composition Techniques of the Sonic Spaces Project

The SuperCollider composition technique scripts are located at the following Bitbucket Git repository:

An independent webpage also exists containing this information, along with slides and descriptions from previous workshop and lecture presentations.

The following are audio examples of amplitude based composition techniques of sonic ecosystems.