The cellular automata known as the “Game of Life” originated from work done in 1970 by British mathematician John Horton Conway. Curious about how the game of life sequencer would react to documented patterns, I drew several of them into the sequencer and captured the MIDI output in Ableton Live. In order to use the documented patterns I changed the grid to thirteen by thirteen squares so I could match the patterns exactly. I got some variable musical phrases as a result. A very symmetrical sequence was produced by the pulsar (pictured). Starting the sequencer with the pulsar created a simple, rigid one half bar pattern before all the cells died. Afterward I ran the MIDI into a virtual instrument, looped it, and applied processing to get today’s sound.
Pulsar Automata in E Minor