Fractal Music Machine

I like sounds

Fractal Music Machine

Fractal Music Machine is an ongoing experiment in fractal music by Erika Nesse, a Boston based software developer and musician. Contact Erika at


The Music

Erika has three albums of fractal music: Let My Machine Talk to Me (Terranean Recordings, 2016), Inside Glass Gardens (Self-published, 2016) What the Machine Replied (Self-published, 2015). On these albums each track is a single whole fractal, created with fractal software and minimal postprocessing.


About Fractal Music

Many different techniques have been used to generate music from fractals and other mathematical constructs. The compositional approach is known generally as algorithmic composition.

My most recent technique is represented by this picture, which is the score for a piece of music that can be re-used with different samples of music to create different fractal music pieces. Each tiny red rectangle in the score represents a fragment of the sample. The length of the rectangle determines how long it will be played, and the location on the x axis determines when it will be played. The sample is triggered at a place within the sample determined by the rectangle's location on the y axis to create a consistent "note" if you drew a horizontal line. The fractal is generated by a series of equations; this is only one possibility. The sound is not created from an image, rather the image is a visualization of the composition. These fractals can involve more than 200,000 individual fragments and create a 30 minute piece out of a 40 second sample.

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