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Groups: Articulations of the Real

by Marcin Pietruszewski

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Groups: Articulations of the Real

The work derives from a study of the group theory and sonification model of physical objects interacting with each other according to various forces such as attraction, repulsion and gravity. In the context of music composition, the group theory was developed by Iannis Xenakis as a method organizing musical objects into so-called “sound complexes” (Xenakis prominently used the method in Nomos Alpha (1965) for solo cello). “Sound complexes” are highly structured musical objects which - alike Gestalten in perception theory - can be easily recognized from a perceptual point of view.

Fundamental for the emergence of ‘Groups: Articulations of the Real’ was a computer simulation of physical force fields. A force field is a mathematical expression describing the dependence of the energy of a system on the coordinates of its particles. It consists of an analytical form of the interatomic potential energy and a set of parameters entering into this form. The parameters are obtained by fitting to experimental data.

The iterative form of the composition moves from a global perspective of objects gradually attracting each other, oscillating, merging and colliding with its elastic boundaries, towards a close-up view of a rupture. In a way, the work attempts to articulate the real physical processes through computer-generated sound.


released November 26, 2020

design: Joe Gilmore


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