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Nathan Koch (designer)
Jess Irish (thesis advisor)


May 21 2019


Nathan Koch's Worldlets are a series of generative studies for the Monome Norns, a portable sound computer. Navigating a space between musical instrument, sound art, and mathematical simulation, each worldlet is part emergent "music box" and part compositional tool. Left alone, each study manifests as generative music, its qualities shaped by the rules and systems of its host worldlet. Initial rulesets and properties populate a world, letting it play out not as a game or animation, but as electronic music. Each worldlet manifests a particular aspect of emergent behavior through simulation, from the marching ants of "Langton's Ant" to particles, physics, and autonomous agents. The same rules and parameters that drive each worldlet allow Koch to demonstrate how a systems approach aids music composition and performance. Musicians can use these worldlets to explore the enormous timbral and parametrical complexity of digital sound techniques (such as additive or granular synthesis) in novel and intuitive ways.



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