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RE: artificial life?

 > does anyone out there know of anybody using sound as a major component in
 > 'artificial life' organisms? it's not my field at all so i may not be using
 > the correct language to describe what i'm wondering, but has anyone heard
 > of anything like that? i've been curious about it for a while and thought
 > this might be a good place to ask.

Hi dominic,

Gotta tute my own horn here... I've been using artificial life concepts for 
the majority of my computer music since 1998.  That year I developed a 
software synthesis application which utilizes the Genetic Algorithm to 
breed modular synthesis patches, where the application user acts as the 
fitness function.  For a few examples of my work, you can check out my 
personal web page at

http://www.darwinarts.com/~wayne/ (follow the art>Electronic Music links)

or my long-neglected MP3.com page:


Also, several of the tracks on my 'do' contribution to the Fallt 
invalidObjects compilation used this technique.

More recently, Kim Cascone's "Pi compilation" proposal inspired me to write 
some code which explored the idea of artificial life in sound even more 
directly.  I built a granular synthesis environment where individual 
granular elements existed as "artificially live entities" which could breed 
with each other and pass characteristics (such as frequency, grain 
duration, predatory preferences, volume) on to their offspring.  I can only 
describe the results of this experiment as "audible population 
dynamics"...often boring, but with occasional fascinating emergent timbres 
and micro dramas.  Over a few months, I created three obnoxiously long 
compositions with this software before setting it aside.  I'd be happy to 
mail you copies or provide you with web links if you're interested.

Right now, I'm trying to rewrite the genetic algorithm synth for easier use 
as a live performance tool and hope to be done in 3-4 months.

Thanks for asking the question.  The AL approach to composition absolutely 
enthralls me.

-Wayne (aka Later Days)

  S. Wayne Jackson                  "Only those who attempt the absurd
  wayne@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx               will achieve the impossible.  I
  <www.darwinarts.com/~wayne/>       think it's in my basement... let
  <www.mp3.com/laterdays>            me go upstairs and check."
  (831)338-6320                                          ~M.C. Escher