BioComputer Music: Generating Musical Responses with Physarum polycephalum-Based Memristors
This paper introduces BioComputer Music, an experimental one piano duet between pianist and plasmodial slime mould Physarum polycephalum. This piece harnesses a system we have been developing, which we call BioComputer. BioComputer consists of an analogue circuit that encompasses components grown from the biological computing substrate Physarum polycephalum. Our system listens to the pianist and uses the memristive characteristics of Physarum polycephalum to generate a musical response that it plays through electromagnets placed on the strings of the piano. Such electromagnets set the strings into vibration, producing a distinctive timbre. Physarum polycephalum is an amorphous unicellular organism that has been discovered to exhibit memristive qualities. The memristor changes its resistance according to the amount of charge that has previously flown through. In this paper, we introduce the general concepts, technology and musical composition behind the BioComputer Music piece. We also discuss our rationale for using Physarum polycephalum.
KeywordsPhysarum polycephalum Memristors Unconventional computing for music Computer music Biomusic Biological engineering Biological computing
- 1.Adamatzky, A.: Physarum Machines: Computers from Slime Mould, vol. 74. World Scientific, Singapore (2010)Google Scholar
- 2.Adamatzky, A.: Physarum machines for space missions. Acta Futur. 6, 53–67 (2013)Google Scholar
- 4.Adamatzky, A., Teuscher, C.: From Utopian to Genuine Unconventional Computers. Luniver Press, Beckington (2006)Google Scholar
- 5.Braund, E.: Unconventional computer music with physarum polycephalum. Master’s thesis, Interdisciplinary for Computer Music Research (ICCMR), Plymouth University (2013)Google Scholar
- 6.Braund, E., Miranda, E.: Music with unconventional computing: towards a platform for physarum polycephalum sound synthesis (2013)Google Scholar
- 7.Braund, E., Miranda, E.: Music with unconventional computing: a system for physarum polycephalum sound synthesis. In: Aramaki, M., Derrien, O., Kronland-Martinet, R., Ystad, S. (eds.) CMMR 2013. LNCS, vol. 8905, pp. 175–189. Springer, Heidelberg (2014)Google Scholar
- 8.Braund, E., Miranda, E.: Music with unconventional computing: towards a step sequencer from plasmodium of physarum polycephalum. In: Johnson, C., Carballal, A., Correia, J. (eds.) EvoMUSART 2015. LNCS, vol. 9027, pp. 15–26. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland (2015)Google Scholar
- 9.Braund, E., Miranda, E.R.: Unconventional computing in music. In: Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology - CIM 2014, Berlin, Germany (2014)Google Scholar
- 13.Gale, E., de Lacy Costello, B., Adamatzky, A.: Observation, characterization and modeling of memristor current spikes (2013). arXiv preprint: arXiv:1302.0771
- 14.Gale, E., Matthews, O., de Lacy Costello, B., Adamatzky, A.: Beyond Markov chains, towards adaptive memristor network-based music generation (2013). arXiv preprint: arXiv:1302.0785
- 16.Johnsen, G.K.: An introduction to the memristor-a valuable circuit element in bioelectricity and bioimpedance. J. Electr. Bioimpedance 3(1), 20–28 (2012)Google Scholar
- 19.Miranda, E.: Harnessing the intelligence of physarum polycephalum for unconventional computing-aided musical composition. IJUC 10(3), 251–268 (2014)Google Scholar
- 20.Miranda, E.: Biocomputer Music. http://tinyurl.com/kszgm3r. Accessed 12 Feb 2015
- 27.Wohlfarth-Bottermann, K.E.: Oscillatory contraction activity in physarum. J. Exp. Biol. 81(1), 15–32 (1979)Google Scholar
Open Access This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.5/), which permits any noncommercial use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.
The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.