Eli Stine received his Ph.D. from the McIntire Department of Music at U.Va. after successfully defending his dissertation entitled, “Modeling Natural Systems in Immersive Electroacoustic Sound.” His compositions and music software research have been programmed internationally, including recently at the 2018 New Interfaces for Musical Expression Conference, 2018 International Computer Music Conference, and the 2019 International Conference on Computational Intelligence in Music, Sound, Art, and Design. His collaborative marine soundscape research has been presented at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography 2019 Aquatic Sciences meeting and the 2019 Workshop on Intelligent Music Interfaces for Listening and Creation. His sound design for film has been featured in USA Today, the Economist, and as part of a virtual reality adaptation of Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis which has been installed in over 25 countries around the world since late 2017. Postgraduation, Eli will join the staff of Oberlin Conservatory as a visiting assistant professor of technology in music and related arts.
Modeling Natural Systems in Immersive Electroacoustic Sound
How can models of natural systems be used to compose electroacoustic music? To explore answers to this question the author presents software built in the Max programming language and multi-channel electroacoustic compositions made using that software that explore different ways to musically encode the processes present in three natural systems: flocks of birds, island shorebird habitats, and oyster reef ecosystems. The process of building and using representative models of these systems leads to their extension into novel, natural system-inspired sound production methodologies. Spatialization is privileged as a domain for both listening to systemic properties and as central to the compositional practice of telling ‘system stories’ through sound. Supplementing the presentation and discussion of these projects is an overview of relevant historical threads within the domains of natural computing, algorithmic acousmatic composition, sonification and data-driven music, live electronics, and software art, along with the introduction of an evaluative framework for work of this type. Broader topics explored include the musical potentials of different models of natural systems, the differences between how humans experience and computers encode natural systems, and how sonic re-embodiments of natural systems may be listened to.