Amarta Project

Amarta Project
Beyond The Lines, Beyond The Sea

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Chaos Theory, Digital Soul...And Other Stories.

Today, an experiment.

Click play below, and read on.

The Butterfly & The Tornado by Amarta Project

Ever heard of chaos theory? You should have, it affects you every day. The pantheon that is Wikipedia defines it as thus...

In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions; where a small change at one place in a nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. For example, the presence or absence of a butterfly flapping its wings could lead to creation or absence of a tornado.
Although the butterfly effect may appear to be an esoteric and unusual behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position.
The term "butterfly effect" itself is related to the meteorological work of Edward Lorenz, who popularized the term.
The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with "what if" cases where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.

Okay, good. We clear? No? Well, stick with me yeah? In a nutshell, things that seem insignificant, such as the gentle breeze of a butterfly's wings - can lead to greater outcomes. Micro density changes in air pressure will translate as a transferrence of energy to something else, snowballing with other micro events to create significant changes - in this example, a tornado - in some other place across the globe.
Translating this basically infers a theory that, nothing is random. The unpredictable becomes infinitely predictable, and our daily droll as we know it, is never random - it is predetermined by events over which we have (seemingly) no control. Obviously, we create these micro events ourselves - breathing, sleeping, sweating, sneezing - everything we do, to the atom, is a micro event. Ostensibly our lives become data sets, zeroes and ones - you've seen The Matrix, right?
This theory, idea - fascinated me. What is music? It's a data set. Notes occuring at set points, at set frequencies, in set rhythms.
Zeroes and ones.
So this is the premise of this latest AP offering, The Butterfly & The Tornado. It's an experiment, it's an application of numbers. It's also, I think, pretty chilled to listen to. You may find it a challenge, you may find it dead boring. The important thing is that you - find it. 
The construction of the track was based, completely, on random events. Whilst writing this I had no idea how it would sound. The software I use for music production allows random sequencing - so with this in mind, I loaded a bunch of samples into the software and set each sample to trigger what's known as a follow event, ie. each sample or sound becomes a domino in a chain, one falling into the next, triggering a new completely random sample. If you listen to the twitchy, glitchy bippy percussion which permeates the track, especially at the beginning, this is chaos theory - completely - in action. I did not edit, or chop or change these events. They were, as is - and as is, good enough. 
Again, later in the track - a drum break, set to randomly chop, reverse, pan left and right. Challenging - maybe - to listen to, but wondrous to know that it was all completely random (or was it?) The soul of the track was completely digital, the sounds you hear - merely the screws holding the structure together.
As a piece of music, does it work?  That's for you to answer my dears. I can only say that I enjoyed letting it be chaotic, and as an experiment - totally glad I gave it a bash. What you hear is left with all mistakes left in, and is mixed MINIMALLY, with only some final glitter added on to gel it. The randomness and the rough edges are part of what makes this work.  Do let me know what you think.
Oh and if you do leave me some feedback - in the spirit of the day - make it random.

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