Rhythm Zoo: Musical Composition Modeled on Genetic Networks


Presentation Title:

  • Rhythm Zoo: Musical Composition Modeled on Genetic Networks



  • Keywords: Music, Biology, Random Boolean Network (RBN), Generative Art, Genetic Networks.

    Inspired by the cyclical patterns of gene expression found in developing organisms, and the resonance these patterns have with rhythmic and harmonic cycles in music, our ongoing creative work focuses on the use of hierarchical Random Boolean Networks (RBNs) for musical creation. RBN models are widely used in scientific research to study the genetic networks underlying biological systems. A hierarchical RBN consists of multiple, interconnected sub-networks that run at different time scales. As a result, the sub-networks disrupt and influence each other’s cyclical behaviors. In biology, these patterns of interference, which manifest in genetic networks, are what define biological structure: for instance, which part of an organism will become a head versus a tail. Inspired by the way that disruption creates biological structure, we use hierarchical systems of musical RBNs to create musical form and compose “musical organisms.”

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