Chapter

Guide to Unconventional Computing for Music

pp 181-218

Date:

Physarum Inspired Audio: From Oscillatory Sonification to Memristor Music

  • Ella GaleAffiliated withSchool of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol
  • , Oliver MatthewsAffiliated withUnconventional Computing Centre, University of the West of England
  • , Jeff JonesAffiliated withUnconventional Computing Centre, University of the West of England
  • , Richard MayneAffiliated withUnconventional Computing Centre, University of the West of England
  • , Georgios SirakoulisAffiliated withDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace
  • , Andrew AdamatzkyAffiliated withUnconventional Computing Centre, University of the West of England Email author 

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Abstract

Slime mould Physarum polycephalum is a single-celled amoeboid organism known to possess features of a membrane-bound reaction–diffusion medium with memristive properties. Studies of oscillatory and memristive dynamics of the organism suggest a role for behaviour interpretation via sonification and, potentially, musical composition. Using a simple particle model, we initially explore how sonification of oscillatory dynamics can allow the audio representation of the different behavioural patterns of Physarum. Physarum shows memristive properties. At a higher level, we undertook a study of the use of a memristor network for music generation, making use of the memristor ’s memory to go beyond the Markov hypothesis. Seed transition matrices are created and populated using memristor equations, and which are shown to generate musical melodies and change in style over time as a result of feedback into the transition matrix. The spiking properties of simple memristor networks are demonstrated and discussed with reference to applications of music making.