ICAT Day 2019


It has come upon us once again: ICAT Creativity and Innovation Day 2019!

This year, I am continuing to pursue my fascintation with all things collective and wild: flocking, swarming, herding, schooling, and murmurating. Last year’s project was my first attempt to sonify the emergent phenomena that arise from the mesmerising movements of animals (in my specific case, birds), and while it was well-intentioned, I hadn’t taken into account what happens when my birds fly quickly. It’s visually pleasing, but the sound is purely chaotic cacophony. I appreciate noise, experimental music, and sonic abstraction as much as the next nerd, but I was going for something a little more… cohesive.

In that vein, during the testing phase for this year’s project I tried something else:

I know, I know, there’s a more efficient way to do this.
It seemed like a good idea at the time.

My results were both positive and negative (in the experimental sense): the harmonic series worked exactly as it was meant to, so nothing unexpected there, but the resulting emergent sound was unexpectedly… flat. Those familiar with MSP will know that using a [cycle~] object doesn’t exactly generate the flashiest sounds, but since these signals route to over a hundred speakers, I tried to be as cautious as possible. That caution paid off–no one lost their hearing–but the sonic element of the project needs a little more oomph. I’ll keep chugging code until the oomph makes itself present.

Baby steps,


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