Stochastic Electronic Music with Virtual Birds

This thing utilizes the flocking behaviors of virtual birds to generate stochastic electronic music. The main idea is that each bird represents the idea of a musical note. Birds fly around in "music space" (the realm of musical possibilities), and the position of a bird gives the features of that bird's voice.

A home-brewed 3D controller lets the user interact with the boids by allowing them to reach into the boid space. With this, the user can move boids to regions of music space, influence the motion of effectoids, and position "attractors" to lock boids into certain regions.

The position of a bird in the vertical direction specifies what pitch that bird will play. Its position in the horizontal direction indicates which beat it will play on. Position front to back gives the probability that this bird will "sing" on its beat. (See figure 1)

There are also so-called "effectoids" which can be created. Each species of bird can have an associated effectoid. The position of a species' effectoid controls various effects which can be modified for that species' instrument.

All software was written in Processing and the 3D controller was built on the Arduino platform.