Sound and Pattern in Analog Neural Networks

That's the documentation of the workshop “Sound and Pattern in Analog Neural Networks” at the University of the Art, Sound Studies and Sonic Art, 6th to 9th Mai 2019 given by Wolfgang Spahn.

Can we hear the firing of neurons? Does their action potential have pitch and timbre? How do patterns and structures of a neural network sound? Christian Faubel and Wolfgang Spahn created an analog neuron, the so-called Pop Neuron, an electronic implementation of an early neural model originally designed to explain human heart beats. Thanks to the support of this small circuit we build and developed in the workshop our own neural synthesizer. Based on Pop Neurons and on some boards of the analog computer Confetti five synthesizers were build, each with an individual design, sound and interface. The core of the final installation/instrument was a neural sequencer to control them all.
All together an analog artificial neural network with around 30 neurons was created to generate structured sound and tuned pattern in an experimental but organic way.

Performance with 5 Neuron Synthesizer

The seek and search for sounds, noises, tones and tunes in an neural network with Clara Badulescu, Elizabeth Davis, Sebastian de la Luz, Francisco Petrucci, Federica Sosta.

full audio recording:

The Neural Synthesizers

Based on two, three or four Pop Neuron each participant developed and documented an own version of their neural synthesizer. Each synthesizer had an unique design, exceptional sound and an individual interface. But at the same time all of them could be connected to and controlled by the neural sequencer. That gives two different ways to play the neural synthesizer, as one voice of many in the neural network or as a solo performance instrument.

Clara Badulescu

Elizabeth Davis

Sebastian de la Luz

Francisco Petrucci

Federica Sosta