Juan Parra and Fernando Rosas

On Timbre Networks: Between Metaphor, Simulation, and Model (and Metaphor)

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Timbre Networks is a creative method that aims to integrate a tele-communicative, algorithmic, and poetic understanding of the concept of “networks”. This is done by applying dynamic mappings of control streams, which are synthesized from live and telematic musical sources, to network-based synthetic sound agents, such as stochastic synthesis and Boolean network pattern generators (Ref. 1). From an artistic and performative perspective, this setup aims to expose the multithreaded role of the computer music performer, blurring the boundaries between composition, digital lutherie (Ref. 2) and performance into an integrated entity. Linearly- structured composition procedures are replaced by networks of interdependent sound engines and manipulators, and rules that determine the initial states of each element and the thresholds where those states are transformed. Performances correspond to the unfolding of this network over time and space, according to the notion of “self-organisation” recently developed in (Ref. 3).

The sensorial result of the Timbre Networks are complex (and confusing) by design. Therefore, a purelyperceptual evaluation of how the metaphoric elements negotiate the decision making process would not suffice, and additional methods are necessary. We propose to perform comparative data analysis over digital traces left by the sucesion of performances that serves as “digital archeology”, giving account of evolving traits throughout the various renditions.

1 S.A. Kauffman. The origins of order: Self-organization and selection in evolution. OUP USA, 1993.

2 S. Jordà . Digital Lutherie: Crafting musical computers for new musics' performance and improvisation. PhD. Thesis. Pompeu Fabra University, 2005.

3 F. Rosas,, P. Mediano, M. Ugarte, and H. Jensen. "An information-theoretic approach to self-organisation: Emergence of complex interdependencies in coupled dynamical systems." Entropy 20, no. 10 (2018): 793.


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event: Simulation

author: [Juan Parra, Fernando Rosas]