Jean-Michel Rolland is a French digital artist working on the relationships between image and sound.



Musical cellular automata


The Game of Life, cellular automata devised by John Horton Conway in 1970, is here revisited with a musical approach.

To understand the rules of this "game", I advise you to read the article on Wikipedia explaining that :

The universe of the Game of Life is an infinite two-dimensional orthogonal grid of square cells, each of which is in one of two possible states, alive or dead, or "populated" or "unpopulated".

At each step in time, the evolution of a cell is entirely determined by the state of its eight neighbours:

- Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbours becomes a live cell,

- Any live cell with two or three live neighbours lives on to the next generation, otherwise it dies.


In my first version, the world in which the cells evolve includes 12 columns (corresponding to the 12 occidental music notes) and 7 rows (corresponding to octaves -1 to 5).

At each birth of a new cell, the music note corresponding to its position is triggered.


The universe of this experiment, contrary to Conway's, has a toric shape, meaning that a cell on the upper row has three of its eight neighbours on the lower row and vice versa.

Same thing for cells situated on extreme right or left columns, three of their neighbours are at the other end of the board.

It results of this characteristic that the created structures cannot escape from the visible world but reappear on the other side from where they vanish.

A glider, for example, instead of losing itself into an infinite universe, will cross this closed world on a cyclical basis.


Read more on http://franetjim.free.fr/jeudelavie.html



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