Bill and the Sierpinski Triangles

Sequences of numbers can be translated into sound in many ways. These pieces each start with a "fractal" picture containing thousands of points, each characterized by a pair of numbers representing its position. Suppose we were to translate these into sound by making each pair of points represent the pitch and the duration of the sound, and to then send the pitches (via MIDI) to a synthesizer.

At first it doesn't sound particularly good. But by fiddling with details of the way the numbers are turned into sound (the "mapping"), it gets better. Low notes, for instance, usually last longer than high ones, so why not build this in as a feature? Other numbers can be used to modulate the timbre of the sound, lest it become boring. Yet others control percussion, and reverberation, and... Eventually, it all begins to sound pretty fine, and it just goes on and on generating more and more music. In a couple of weeks, I produced about 20 hours of cool stuff, which later boiled down to two CDs. Here's a sampling, for your enjoyment.

4:08
3.8 Megs
4:55
4.6 Megs
4:49
4.5 Megs
3:06
2.9 Megs
5:05
4.7 Megs

Find out more about fractals and the Sierpinski triangle

Looking for Bill's other music? There's plenty more weird (alternately tuned) stuff, and also a bunch of "normal" stuff. A great tool for algorithmic music composition is the Fractal Tune Smithy.

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