Weaving Music


Weaving Music is an exploration of the materiality of sound through the metaphor of weaving, with the weaving loom re-imagined as a music sequencer. The seeds of this project were formed when first encountering grid notation for weaving patterns in Anni Albers’ On Weaving, which gave the immediate impression of rhythmic music notation.

weaving notation from Anni Albers
Image from Anni Albers' On Weaving (1965, Wesleyan University Press)

In the summer of 2019, I began developing this project during a residency at EMS in Stockholm, where I used MIDI signals generated by this app to control voicings produced on their Buchla and Serge synthesizer systems.

buchla modular synthesizer serge modular synthesizer
Buchla and Serge synthesizers at EMS (photos by the artist)

In the end, this project attempts a fairly straightforward translation of weaving notation to music notation, in that patterns are read from left to right as columns along the warp (vertical threads hung on a a weaving loom). In the current version, there are two ways of interpreting how a column should be handled: as octaves (in octave mode) or as a canon (in canon mode). These different mode offer different expressions of the underlying harmonic structure, which this app leaves intentionally simplified (as a selection from a variety of chords), such that the resulting music is an expression of an underlying harmonic structure.

In sharing this software, my hope is that you too may find it useful for harmonic and rhythmic research and discovery, sharing some similarity in intent to the historical Triadex Muse.

Video by the artist of the Buchla synthesizer at EMS playing a simple melody produced with Weaving

See also