SchemaSynth

Generative ambient music made with Tone.JS and realtime environmental data

“Once I started working with generative music in the 1970s, I was flirting with ideas of making a kind of endless music — not like a record that you’d put on and which would play for a while and finish. I like the idea of a kind of eternal music, but I didn’t want it to be eternally repetitive, either. I wanted it to be eternally changing.”

Brian Eno, 2007

I am part of an art and science collective called Schema47. We are four friends (a choreographer, NASA roboticist, computational evolutionary biologist and musician) who came together to investigate new ways to engage with and perceive the world around us.

As a means of staying connected across continents and amid lockdowns, we are developing a sensor which will be placed at each of our homes to monitor environmental conditions such as humidity, light spectrum and noise volume. These dataset will be processed in real time into a generative piece of ambient music, and live streamed via a web browser into our homes.

As conditions change, so too will the timbre, frequency and rhythm of the music. By tuning in regularly to our collective sonified data we hope to develop an intimate, non verbal connection, fostering a sensory awareness of the environments of our friends. By creating a system which can handle multiple, evolving datasets we embrace chance and unpredictability in the musical output.