International Computer Music Conference 2016 Papers Track

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Sonification of Optically-Ordered Brownian Motion

In this paper, a method is outlined for the sonification of experimentally-observed Brownian motion organized into optical structures. Sounds were modeled after the tracked, three-dimensional motion of Brownian microspheres confined in the potential wells of a standing-wave laser trap. Stochastic compositions based on freely-diffusing Brownian particles are limited by the indeterminacy of the data range and by constraints on the data size and dimensions. In this study, these limitations are overcome by using an optical trap to restrict the random motion to an ordered stack of two-dimensional regions of interest. It is argued that the confinement of the particles in the optical lattice provides an artistically appealing geometric landscape for constructing digital audio effects and musical compositions based on experimental Brownian motion. A discussion of future work on data mapping and computational modeling is included. The present study finds relevance in the fields of stochastic music and sound design.


Chad McKell     web site
Wake Forest University
United States


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