Butterfly Effects

by Tara Rodgers

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A four-channel computer music composition with a generative structure that unfolds differently each time it is executed. Its structure is derived from behavioral aspects and ecosystem dynamics of migratory monarch butterflies. It is also inspired by the ‘butterfly effect’ concept of chaos theory: that the flapping of one butterfly’s wings can cause significant changes in how a weather system unfolds over time. Each synthesized sound event represents either a butterfly behavior (like flying or clustering), or an environmental condition (like wind or sunlight). All sequences of sound events result from the interdependence of fluctuating elements in the whole system. Data objects being created and destroyed reference the life cycles of living things. Although the composition generates indefinitely, all sound elements cycle through in a 24-minute period. Each minute equals one hour in the synthesized environment. This is a stereo mix, representing a cycle of three days.


released August 20, 2007

Composed in Oakland, Calif. and recorded in Montreal. Special thanks to Maggi Payne, Fred Frith, Chris Brown, Abe Doherty, Chris Kubick.


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Tara Rodgers Maryland

Tara Rodgers is a multi-instrumentalist composer and historian of sound. She started her career as a jazz pianist and has since been making house and techno as Analog Tara, and composing generative computer music in SuperCollider, over many years.

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