Enter the maze

Composing music with home-made software

Ancient piano keys

Music is often referred to as the most scientific of the arts, because of the vast knowledge a composer must possess in order to create original music. Sinan Bokesoy, a Turkish composer studying at the University of Paris VIII, France, raises the scientific dimension of composing music to a new level, though. He believes that innovation is key to music composition, and recently submitted his PhD on his approach to sound generation, 'macro sound'.

He started to develop his own programs back in 2001 as a way of creating unique sounds that he could not obtain using available music tools. He was used to creating sounds with commercial synthesizers and software, but he felt that these sounds were not original enough. As a result he created his own called Stochos. It is a kind of synthesizer, but instead of creating sounds from scratch, it uses sound samples to generate complex and evolving sound textures. The name Stochos refers to the stochastic (ie random) music process that was used by Iannis Xenakis in his music in the 1950s. The program recombines and organises the repetition of a sound sample, such as the sound of a clarinet or a soprano voice, to create rich sound textures, sometimes with unexpected results. He refers to these unexpected results as 'emergence', a feature that he has been specifically pursuing when developing Stochos. He claims that mixing these sounds with traditional instruments enables him to create a 'psychoacoustic melody' by contrasting the timbres of the sound.

This work has not only led to a PhD thesis but also an album, "Tales of Future" combining traditional music with that of Stochos.