Music at the Edge of Chaos

Fracas by Shawn Bell, 2020

NetWorks is a music-generating system and a body of work based on Network theory, Complex Systems Science and the Honing Theory of creativity (Gabora 2010). NetWorks uses a hierarchical, scale-free network to generate music that can range from orderly to chaotic. At the ‘edge of chaos’ it generates patterns that exhibit emergent complexity through coherent musical development at low, mid and high levels of musical organization, and often suggests a sense of direction through goal seeking behaviours. …

In general, the sounds chosen to manifest the musical patterns discovered by a network attempt to reflect the mystery and wonder that virtually unlimited diversity can come from such simple models of complexity. When mapping patterns to sound, every effort is made to preserve the integrity of the patterns rather than obfuscate them with complex synthetic textures or other effects that are readily available during mixing.

Shawn Bell