Despite the acute interest that Cellular Automata [CA] has generated over the years, the musical panorama as it relates to the practical applications of such systems remains fragmented at best. The vast literature that addresses CA usually stops short of addressing the most basic musical matters. On the other hand, the majority of papers that exclusively address CA and music/sound, are either too specialized and interested in describing a particular composer’s mapping procedure, or too general, thus lacking in analytic usefulness– and frankly inspiration. My ongoing project aims primarily towards creating a tri-partite document that in detail addresses:

Practical coding examples using Mathematica

Expanded and thorough summation of past and present research in the field – which necessarily also includes a philosophical plunge into the immense world of Algorithmic Composition and Data Sonification

In depth analysis of musical examples/applications from established composers and sound artists.

My interest in CA started with the rather simple investigation of whether the complexity and visual beauty of the various types of Automata can be directly and successfully translated into music. More concretely:

Is there a correlation and/or similarity between the visual mapping of CA and its musical counterpart? That is, can we hear the image as it is presented to our eyes?

If such mapping does not exist, is there nevertheless a musically relevant translation of those structures? That is, can we still make music using CA despite the non-corresponding relation between visuals and sound



Historical use and usefulness
Universal Computation / Relevance of CA
Automated Art

– ELEMENTARY 1-DIMENSIONAL CA : Usefulness, Categorization, and Explanation.

Numbering and reducing the possibilities. Explanation of the mechanics of CA
Wolfram categorization among four distinct classes.
Comparison and further categorization of the four classes
Equivalence between Formal systems and Dynamic systems ( For they are both artificial dynamic systems and information processing machines.)

CA as revealing of behavior of dynamic systems (e.g. Music)
Complexity of translation : Elementary CA vs. 2, or 3-D Automata etc.
Overall behavior vs. Visual/Musical complexity.
Why does Wolfram restrict his study to elementary CA only?
Which type of CA would be the most appropriate for musical purposes?



Applying numbers to various other parameters (Performance, Gesture etc.)


SECTION III : Algorithmic Composition / Data Manipulation and Sonification

Algorithm : Finite description of a method for finding a solution to a given problem
Philosophy behind Algorithmic Composition

SECTION IV : Musical Analysis

SECTION V : In-Depth Analysis