Michael Masaru Flora


Grain Belt Keg House, Minneapolis, MN. 2015

Aves is a quadraphonic sound piece which simulates the flocking behavior of birds. The behaviors are generated by a flocking algorithm in the software environment Pure Data, which controls the "bird's" frequency (pitch), amplitude (volume), and position in the four loudspeakers. The behavior of the flock arises from the interaction of four individual "birds" adhering to a set of simple rules: 1. The number of neighbors each "bird" consults while flocking 2. Maximum speed 3. Minimum speed 4. Strenth of "centering" instinct 5. Strength of attraction to an "attract­point" 6. Strength of neighbor avoidance instinct 7. Overall speed 8. Willingness to change speed and direction 9. Speed of acceleration 10. Preferred distance from neighbors. The sonic character of the individual "birds" was intentionally left as simple as possible, so as not to take away from the spatial characteristics of the work as they fly about the environment. In it's installation context new parameters were assigned to the rules every five minutes, thus resulting in new behaviors from the flock. For the sake of presentation, the work sample exhibits four such resulting behaviors lasting a minute apiece.

Note: The following excerpt is a stereo mix and therefore does not capture the diverse sonic phenomena which appear due to the physical dimensions of the exhibition space and the positioning of the listener within the room.