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Volume 2, Issue 1, September 2017

Evolving Instrument Based on Symbiont-Host Metaphor: a Commensal Computation

Jonas Abernot, Guillaume Beslon, Simon Hickinbotham, Sergio Peignier, and Christophe Rigotti


evolutionary computation, digital musical instrument, motion sensor


We present a suite of tools under development for music creation and performance which combines an evolving music generation algorithm with an evolving motion-sensitive interface. The system can be used as a dance-driven musical instrument that allows an immediate physical interaction with music, because the evolutionary algorithm gen- erates live code, that evolves during the performance. The classification of the physical moves required to control the music also evolve, leading to a performance both in sound and in motion. To reach this goal we introduce commensal computation, a way of organising artificially evolv- ing system inspired by symbiotic relationships observed in biology. As a consequence the system is split in two organisms: a host which generates music from input moves; and a symbiont which simplifies the representa- tion of the input moves for the host. We describe how it allows evolution, and sketch the artistic possibilities.

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Supplementary material

Video of experiment carried out during the 1st Conference on Computer Simulation of Music Creativity.

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