Olle Cornéer Christian Hörgren and Martin Lübcke have designed an morphing musical “organism” that takes background noise and attempts to transform it into music. Named the Bacterial Orchestra, the digital organism runs off iPhones, is self-organizing, and evolves with the environment. “Public Epidemic No 1″ will be the premiere performance of the orchestra (using hundreds of iPhones), taking place at the Volt Festival on the 6th of June. Watch the program come alive in the video below.
The creators descibe the project:
Bacterial Orchestra (2006) is a self-organizing evolutionary musical organism. The installation consists of several audio cells. Every cell listens to its surroundings and picks up sounds, trying to play together in a musical way. The musical material comes from the background noise, people talking or sounds played by other cells.
Every cell has a unique DNA. Only the ones that are musical fit enough survives. If the surroundings doesn’t meet up to its conditions – too noisy, too quiet or no distinct pulse – the cell dies and is reborn with a new, hopefully better, set of DNA.
…The installation and the ideas behind it can be traced from different areas such as chaos theory, self-organizing systems and neural networks. The communication between the cells can be compared with the communication between neurons in the brain, ants in an anthill, Miles Davis and John Coltrane (but it won’t sound like jazz!) – and other organizing systems.