Difference between revisions of "User:Francois/Solar Genesis II"

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=== April 23 ===
=== April 23 ===
* Tested the MIDI samples salamander (with Qsampler) for the virtual instrument with Nando.
* Tested the MIDI samples salamander (with Qsampler) for the virtual instrument with Nando.
=== April 25 ===
* Implemented a simple plane wave WFS (16 channels) in ChucK.
== References ==
== References ==

Revision as of 10:08, 26 April 2012

Solar Genesis II is a piece that I will be developing during the Music 220C class. This piece follows my compositions for the Music 220A class, Heliocentric Harmony, and for the Music 220B class, Solar Genesis I.

Project history and inspiration

Heliocentric harmony

This first part of this project, leading to the production of Heliocentric Harmony was the sonification of some concepts of the Harmony of the Spheres discussed in the texts by Pythagoras and Kepler. The system consisted in a solar system where each planet was playing a particular note when an eclipse was happening. The system was spatialized with Doppler effect so that the public would locate the planets around him. This spatialization was made by stereo panning on pairs of loudspeakers.

Solar Genesis I

Solar Genesis I was the first attempt to extend Heliocentric Harmony into a full piece, based on a fictional storyline of the life of the solar system. The piece consists in three main parts picturing the birth, life and death of the sun. The main component is an improvised piano piece on a Disklavier. The MIDI messages were used to control the progression of a computer-generated accompaniement and a visual part. The three component are used to create and reinforce the affects related to each part of the piece. The spatialization existing in Heliocentric harmony was converted to Third-Order Ambisonics to improve the spatial sound impression.

Project objectives

Solar Genesis II is meant to develop the ideas expressed in Solar Genesis I, and especially its affect.

Instrumental Piece

The instrumental piece is meant to feature a duet between the piano (Disklavier) and another instrument played or simulated. The piece will be written with the assistance of Prof. Aquilanti.

Computer Music Accompaniement

The computer music program is meant to play sound sequences clarifying and reinforcing the emotions conveyed by the instrumental piece. The triggering process implemented in Solar Genesis I will be complexified. An alternative triggering event will be investigated for the solar system since the present one has been too difficult for the public to understand.


The visualization already developed for Heliocentric Harmony and Solar Genesis I is meant to evolve into a 3D visualization. Challenges in this process are to develop a new point of view from the 3D perspective since the video won't anymore show the whole system so we would like to avoid empty screens.


The computer-generated sound will be generated by Third-Order Ambisonics (TOA) similarly to what was made in Solar Genesis I, to provide a full 2D sound field. The new Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) system will be used to play with the location of the instrumentists. The exact form of this has not been finalized but two main ideas are on the table:

  • Acoustic images of the two performers,
  • Virtual second performer interacting with the pianist.

The difficulty in the second option would be to develop a complex but robust synchronization between the performer and the virtual instrument while keeping the spirit of the instrumental piece.


April 10

  • Demonstration of the WFS system in the Listening room and the Fantasia video in class.

April 12

  • First discussion about the piece with Prof. Aquilanti. The other instrument will probably be a cello.

April 16-17

  • Meeting and discussion with Jens Ahrens at the Linux Audio Conference

April 19

  • For next class:
    • Check Risset's pieces,
    • Create a test for the WFS in the listening room.
  • Idea: conversion of the trajectories in the solar system to Bezier curves for a smoother contour.

April 23

  • Tested the MIDI samples salamander (with Qsampler) for the virtual instrument with Nando.

April 25

  • Implemented a simple plane wave WFS (16 channels) in ChucK.



Ahrens, Jens. Analytic Methods of Sound Field Synthesis. Berlin: Springer, 2012.

Ahrens, Jens, Matthias Geier and Sasha Spors. The SoundScape Renderer: A Unified Spatial Audio Reproduction Framework for Arbitrary Rendering Methods. Audio Engineering Society Convention 124, 2008.


Stravinsky, I., W. Disney et al. "The Rite of Spring." In Fantasia, 1940.

Risset, J.-C. "Huit esquisses en duo pour un pianiste," In Electronic Music III. Acton, MA: Neuma, 1994.