FORMS – Screen Ensemble
Forms -Screen Ensemble- is a generative visual music jukebox. Driven by chance and probability, this automata creates endless, unrepeatable graphic scores that are immediately transformed into sound by means of sonification algorithms. Images become sound spectrums, making it possible to -literally- hear what you see. The dream of Kandinski.
Each screen of this networked ensemble plays a particular instrumental role: Rhythm, Harmony or Texture.
Performed by this trio of automats, a visual music symphony evolves over time giving birth to unique sonic landscapes that will never be repeated again: from tonal ambient music to raging rhythms, surreal electronic passages or dance-floor beats.
Forms – Screen Ensemble was presented at 2020’s edition of Ars Electronica festival in Barcelona, thanks to a grant given by NewArtFoundation, Institut Ramón Llull and Hangar.org.
Forms is thought to be a flexible instrument in terms of formats and aspects. Because its fundamental nature is rooted in visual music algorithms rather than in a matter-specific phisicality, it can take many different forms. Although the Screen Ensemble takes the form of an automata inside boxes containing screens and speakers, we’re working on multiple derivatives that transcend this format: a live performance where a string quartet interprets the realtime generated scores; an immersive installation based on video-projection and multichannel audio; a software for live computer music or an internet streaming bot.
Forms is engineered by means of 2 main processes:
-A sonification algorithm developed in Max/MSP
On the graphic side, a deep mathematical research has been done in order to code timbrically and musically coherent graphics that create appealing rhythms, harmonies or textures.
On the sonic side, a number of ideas from the field of spectral synthesis and FFT are deployed.
In addition, a set of control routines command the evolution of compositions over time through weighted probabilities, Markov chains and chance algorithms.
The main feature of Forms is its visual music nature. It creates music you can see in an appealing yet scientifically coherent way.
It is also a step forward towards a way of presenting and enjoying algorithmic compositions. It is a whole new way of creating music, based on visual compositions rather than on staves or piano-rolls.
Its generative nature provides endless, unique, unrepeatable and rich music detached from the constrains of traditional language. Forms embraces the expressivity of drawn gestures and microtonality, unifying the visual and aural experience.
+info: Forms Dossier