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music of the mycelium

Lindenmayer systems (L-systems) were described In 1968 by Aristid Lindenmayer, a biologist who worked with yeast and filamentous fungi. These were string rewriting systems, which could be used for defining objects by successively replacing parts of a simple initial string (axiom) using a set of rewriting rules (productions). These strings are commonly interpreted using Turtle Graphics so that a simple axiom and production rules could code for a visual representation of a relatively complex plant, alga or filamentous microbe.We have developed win software (lsys2midi) that interprets L-system strings sonically (Turtle Sonics?), producing a MIDI file as output. We applied L-systems representing fractals, bushes and filamentous microbes. The work is described in a paper "Microbes and Music" presented at the PRICAI2000 Artificial Intelligence Conference in Melbourne in August 2000. A special web site has been set up to provide more information. The resulting MIDI files were used to produce music using conventional and specially prepared sounds on a Yamaha CS1X synthesiser. Fran wrote the L-systems as parametric L-systems, the sounds were put together by Jacques.