Project Description: This project is a part philosophical, part scientific endeavour that aims to engage with the issues of unpredictability and the limits of knowledge through tangible interaction with an electronic musical instrument. Through mathematical analysis, augmentation, and brute force combination a novel circuit results that serves the stated philosophical goals.
Extended Description: What kind of emergent behaviour is identifiable in a chaotic musical instrument? This question informs both the conceptual and physical direction for the thesis. The first half develops a historical and conceptual basis for the instrument and the second half adopts a technical approach in documenting the building of the instrument. It begins with a historical review of chaos theory in science and music. Next follows a description of emergence, its appearance in nature and art and connects chaos theory to this characteristic of real and simulated systems. By tying these topics together, a new conceptual framework results that proposes a new approach to addressing the problems of complexity theory. From this background, I refine my design goals for the functionality and interface of the instrument and then move to a technical description of the instrument including its circuitry and the mathematical equations it makes physical. Finally, the work concludes with a qualitative evaluation of the emergent characteristics manifested in performance and collaboration with the instrument.