Music with Unconventional Computing: Granular Synthesis with the Biological Computing Substrate Physarum Polycephalum

  • Edward Braund
  • Eduardo R. Miranda
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9617)


This paper reports on the outcomes of an approach to granular synthesis using the biological computing substrate Physarum polycephalum. The plasmodium of Physarum Polycephalum is unicellular with a myriad of diploid nuclei, which moves like a giant amoeba in its pursuit of food. The organism is amorphous, and although without a brain or any serving centre of control, can respond to the environmental conditions that surround it. In the presented approach, we harness the organism’s oscillatory behaviour and protoplasmic network configuration to produce and sequence sound grains. Such an approach is an extension to one of the author’s previous musical works with Physarum polycephalum, which he presented in [13].


Unconventional computing Biological computing Computer music Physarum polycephalum Bionic Engineering Music Granular synthesis 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research (ICCMR)Plymouth UniversityPlymouthUK

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