Signals and Noises

Beauty Enthralled

Beauty Enthralled was one of my earliest attempts to use a non-linear dynamical system (in this case the Standard Map) to generate the music more or less automatically. Both the note-by-note sequence of pitch in time and the architecture of the whole are generated from one "run" of the iterated equations which comprise the Standard Map. Rather than being constrained to fit the twelve-divisions-per-octave tuning system that 99.99% of all Western music is built upon, pitch in this piece is mapped into a continuous frequency domain. This creates a different sort of harmony than we're used to, but one which nonetheless sounds very natural.

Beauty Enthralled was first performed in Buffalo, New York, in a slightly different instrumental realization. This version stems from a re-orchestration using a collection of viola samples, completed in Banff, Alberta, in 1991. It was used to accompany Marcus Novak's 4D hyperspatial VR work Dancing With the Virtual Dervish as part of the Banff Centre's "Art and Virtual Environments" project in 1992. Multi-instrumentalist Parmela Attariwala used it as a basis for a microtonal viola duet in her Attar Project in 1996.

Excerpt from Beauty Enthralled as performed by Parmela Attariwala

Quasi-musical graphical transcription of the computer part