Risto A. Paju

Jyvaskyla, Finland
My math-art awakening took place during an undergraduate summer course of fractal geometry in 2015. Having no background in visual arts, this opened up a weird new world of expression to complement my endeavours in music and theatre. I joined the Bridges community at the 2016 conference with artworks, a short film and a short paper.

In a time where playing computer games is considered sport, and algorithms are portrayed as tools of manipulation and oppression, I want to show the power and fun in writing your own software. Math is everybody's possession, you can choose where and how to use it. As Arthur Miller put it: “Man must shape his tools lest they shape him.”
Tribonacci Word Music
Music and graphics by Risto A. Paju
In 2020 I learned about the Fibonacci word and devised a way to generate polyphonic music from it. In my five years of making visual algorithmic art and a lifetime of traditional musicianship, this was my first foray into algorithmic music. This short film presents the same method with the Tribonacci word.

The first voice plays the Tribonacci word 0102010010201010201... so that a 0 becomes a rest, a 1 the base note, and a 2 the major second. After a while, the second voice comes along playing the Nth digit of the word, where N is the sum of the digits played by the first voice. Furthers voices iterate on the preceding ones in the same way, and their base notes are separated by fifths.

The sound and visuals are generated and recorded in real time. The generating software transmits note data to a synthesizer using MIDI and draws the visualization with OpenGL.