Crossing the Horizon: Elaine Walker / Chaos Melody Theory

Elaine Walker has done some interesting stuff with iterated function systems, mapping points in both the real line and the complex plane to melodies. Melodies that almost but don’t quite repeat, and which vector off at strange angles from your expectations. Hynotic minimalist metallic sculptures. What Philip Glass might sound like if he came from a planet orbiting the Crab Nebula.She has a four-movement piece (mp3′s: 1 2 3 4) that explores different points of the complex space laid out by the equation 1-rx^2, as well as a live improv.I’ve heard a number of “music from chaos” pieces and have generally been bored silly within a few minutes. Walker’s pieces, however, are lively and interesting. Very tasty stuff. Her thesis on the subject is good reading.[update 01/08] – Since I originally found her work, she’s been doing a lot of recording: the band ZIA, Number Sine, and solo work as well.

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