DONGRYUL LEE


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Time Tree Sketches (2016–), work-in-progress
Thirteen Algorithmic Trees / for Sound Installation

Image credit: Thomas Chaplin

In 2016, I wrote Goethe’s Garden for two pianos tuned a quarter-tone apart, by using a recursive fractal algorithm:

“ In my piece I have rendered the image of this primordial tree as the overtone series: not as a simple ascending integer series, but rather as a 2nd dimensional tree-type data structure: each of its inner nodes has its own overtone sub-branches.
This structural foundation of musical materials led me to try to portray trees “graphically” as well. To render the infinite variations of tree forms and physiognomies, I adopted Barnsley’s Fern model, which uses a transformation matrix with probability variables, in a mathematical formula of self-similarity: Iterated Function System (IFS.)”

The spatial geographical data generated by Barnsley’s algorithm is mapped onto the frequency domain, and sonified by reinterpreting the process of iteration as sonic events happening in different time-points. Through the sonification process, I generated more than a hundred versions of Barnsley’s ferns, and chose several outputs and refined, revised, and notated them on the paper.

For Time Tree Sketches, I will use the other tree data that was not used in Goethe’s Garden, and will develop the recursive algorithm in harmonic and rhythmic directions in a deeper level to transform the shapes and colors of trees more dramatically and ecologically. The computer will infinitely create ever-changing sonified images of different trees (as Goethe dreamed), now without the limit of tunings, instruments, and time.

Here I upload three data sonification results that I generated for Goethe’s Garden.

Tree 57


init dur =  30 / max frequency =  4246.89 / dist factor =  1 / fund frequency =  28.5851 / max depth =  10 / each repeat =  3 / left leaf ratio =  1.3333333333333 / right leaf ratio =  1.1666666666667 / each repeat decrement =  -0.25 / duration decrement =  0
Frequencies (first three lines): 28.59 57.17 57.17 85.76 171.51 85.76 114.34 38.11 171.51 343.02 343.02 686.04 128.63 686.04 514.53 1372.08 1372.08 257.27 114.34 47.64 514.53 686.04 192.95 1029.06 214.39 2058.13 1372.08 257.27 686.04 1029.06 1543.6 1372.08 2058.13 257.27 1029.06 289.42 428.78 2058.13 428.78 2744.17 3087.19 343.02 228.68 95.28 385.9 2058.13 1543.6 343.02 2058.13 1286.33 1372.08 2058.13 257.27 4116.25 321.58

Tree 64


init dur =  30 / max frequency =  4246.89 / dist factor =  1 / fund frequency =  65.4064 / max depth =  10 / each repeat =  3 / left leaf ratio =  1.2083333333333 / right leaf ratio =  1.4375 / each repeat decrement =  -0.3 / duration decrement =  0.1
Frequencies (first three lines): 65.41 130.81 130.81 261.63 94.02 261.63 392.44 196.22 261.63 523.25 523.25 188.04 1046.5 196.22 1046.5 523.25 1308.13 523.25 2093 392.44 784.88 1569.75 392.44 188.04 117.53 1635.16 2616.26 392.44 1046.5 1569.75 1046.5 1046.5 3270.32 245.27 2093 327.03 3924.38 282.07 588.66 2093 3139.51 261.63

Tree 95


init dur =  30 / max frequency =  4246.89 / dist factor =  1.1818181818182 / fund frequency =  32.7032 / max depth =  12 / each repeat =  3 / left leaf ratio =  1.5454545454545 / right leaf ratio =  1.2222222222222 / each repeat decrement =  -0.3 / duration decrement =  0.2
Frequencies (first three lines): 61.66 139.87 139.87 317.32 317.32 103.13 512.39 225.86 317.32 413.07 719.88 182.08 937.11 937.11 233.97 413.07 719.88 2125.94 2125.94 182.08 1162.43 667.01 413.07 3432.88 413.07 4822.96 937.11 1513.2 937.11 1077.06 233.97 1513.2 5543.28 667.01 233.97 937.11 413.07 3432.88 2125.94 937.11