Music Colloquium Series: Jesse Berezovsky (CWRU) and Alex Cooke (CIM)

Jesse Berezovsky (CWRU) and Alex Cooke (CIM)
Friday, December 2, 2022

4:00 PM 
Harkness Chapel, Classroom

Music colloquia provide a weekly forum for presentation and discussion of recent research by distinguished visitors and CWRU faculty and graduate students in musicology, historical performance practice, and music education.

All talks happen on Fridays at 4:00 PM in Harkness Classroom and are open to the public. 

About the Talk

“Crystals of Sound: Using the Physics of Phase Transitions to Compose and Perform Music.”

The beauty of music arises out of a balance between consonance and dissonance, regular order and variety, predictability and surprise. In nature, similar competitions cause beauty to spontaneously emerge out of randomness when, for example, symmetric snowflakes assemble from randomly colliding water molecules. To understand how these processes occur, we can apply the ideas and mathematical tools of statistical mechanics. In a collaboration between CWRU and the Cleveland Institute of Music, we have explored how the balance between order and compositional variety can open a new view of the structures of music through a series of projects ranging from fundamental physics to the development of technology and computer algorithms for music composition, to new forms of music performance.

About the Speakers

Jesse Berezovsky is an associate professor of physics at Case Western Reserve University. In addition to his research into devices for quantum technology, he studies applications of statistical mechanics to music theory. He also plays the viola. Alex Cooke is the Director of Electronic Music and a theory and composition faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In addition to a DMA from CIM, he earned a Master’s degree in mathematics from CWRU, studying Markov chain methods for algorithmic composition. In recent years, Berezovsky and Cooke have been collaborating to develop new algorithms for composition, and interfaces to use those algorithms for live composition and performance.

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