Miika Karttunen, Atte Tenkanen

1) Sculptor 2) Composer
1 & 2) University of Turku
Turku, Finland

Our collaboration is based on the common interest in music, mathematics, algorithms and sculpture. We aim to develop a mapping procedure in which the connection between music and a sculptural form can easily be seen.

Here we present one of the models we are working with: the Vector Sequence Model (VSM). VSM maps musical MIDI data into virtual sculptural form. Its analytical strength is based on the tonality detection of music. We tie the time of music to the movements of vectors instead of to any single dimension.

We are not only interested in the end-product, the virtual sculpture, but the process itself. Thus, we have chosen a pyramid hologram, which is based on Pepper’s ghost effect, for representing the birth of the sculpture.

Vector Sequence Model of Olivier Messiaen's "Apparition of the Eternal Church"
Vector Sequence Model of Olivier Messiaen's "Apparition of the Eternal Church"
30 x 30 x 30 cm
Glass, earphones and a tablet computer.

The project is based on sculptor and mathematician Karttunen's ongoing master's thesis "Three-Dimensional Score – Seeing Music, Hearing Sculpture". The project is also related to PhD Tenkanen's earlier studies in computer-aided music analysis. Several mathematical methods are applied, among them multidimensional scaling and kernel density estimation. In addition, we apply special music analytical methods and algorithms (the clustering segmentation of musical pitch classes, Krumhansl-Schmuckler key finding algorithm). Instead of grounding the model in basic low-level musical parameters, such as pitch and duration, VSM is based on an upper level parameter, tonality. Tonal tensions often play an important role in music perception.