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Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

A Nautilus of Percussive Expressivity

The fractal music of Erika Nesse

Erika Nesse makes fractal music. She codes the music — “coding” being a term that has as much application these days as do “writing” and “composition” to the production of sound. This following playlist collects over a dozen examples of her algorithms set to work on a variety of audio sources. Listen as sounds ranging from white noise (“Fifty One”) to verbalization (“One two three”) to gentle bleeps (“It goes bop”) cycle through patterns within patterns, coming back around to familiar riffs even as they expand continuously outward, a nautilus of percussive expressivity.

For context, Nesse, who’s based in Boston, Massachusetts, wrote the following about the process behind What the Machine Replied, a five-track EP of her fractal music:

This album was generated entirely with fractals, nesting beats within beats to create a self-similar system. I give a small seed pattern of a couple of notes to the machine, and it goes deep into the tree of recursion and echoes back a dizzying track minutes long. Thus, “what the machine replied”.

Here’s a video visualization that aligns the sounds with images, helping the mind trace the patterns:

SoundCloud set originally posted at soundcloud.com/conversationswithrocks. Keep an eye on Nesse’s fledgling fractalmusicmachine.com website.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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  • By The Sixteen-Millimeter Fractal on April 5, 2016 at 6:15 am

    […] wrote about Erika Nesse’s fractal music about a month ago (“A Nautilus of Percussive Expressivity”), and she just posted this week another example that’s well worth a listen. Titled “You […]

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