A Swarm Environment for Experimental Performance and Improvisation

  • Frank Mauceri
  • Stephen M. MajercikEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10198)


This paper describes Swarm Performance and Improvisation (Swarm-PI), a real-time computer environment for music improvisation that uses swarm algorithms to control sound synthesis and to mediate interactions with a human performer. Swarm models are artificial, multi-agent systems where the organized movements of large groups are the result of simple, local rules between individuals. Swarms typically exhibit self-organization and emergent behavior. In Swarm-PI, multiple acoustic descriptors from a live audio feed generate parameters for an independent swarm among multiple swarms in the same space, and each swarm is used to synthesize a stream of sound using granular sampling. This environment demonstrates the effectiveness of using swarms to model human interactions typical to group improvisation and to generate organized patterns of synthesized sound.


Interactive human/computer music improvisation Swarm intelligence 



The authors would like to thank Bowdoin College students John Burlinson, Nicole Erkis, Grace Handler, Octavian Neamtu, and John Truskowski for their work.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bowdoin CollegeBrunswickUSA

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