Complexity and the Structure of Music: Universal Features and Evolutionary Perspectives Across Cultures - Speakers

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Complexity and the Structure of Music: Universal Features and Evolutionary Perspectives Across Cultures
December 7 - 9, 2020 — Zoom

Marco Buongiorno Nardelli

University of North Texas - USA

Bio: Marco Buongiorno Nardelli is University Distinguished Research Professor at the University of North Texas: composer, flutist, computational materials physicist, and a member of CEMI, the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia, and iARTA, the Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the Institute of Physics, an Associate Fellow of IMéRA, the Institute for Advanced Studies of Aix-Marseille University, and a Parma Recordings artist.

Miguel Fuentes

Argentine Society of Philosophical Analysis; Santa Fe Institute - USA

Bio: Miguel Fuentes seeks to understand the behavior of Complex Systems from a fundamental-conceptual point of view, focusing on anomalies that are often important ingredients for the emergence of new emerging characteristics. He works in interdisciplinary research, from mathematical physics, with a focus on statistical mechanics, nonlinear dynamics and the use of information theory and complexity measures to characterize and understand complex behaviors in closely related systems with highly interdisciplinary interest, from hard physical models to social systems, the spread of information, ecology, public policies, etc.

Another important aspect of his research is the epistemological study of complex systems. This study focuses on the analysis of the evolution of scientific theories and the dynamics of innovations.

Miguel Fuentes holds a Ph.D. in Physics from Instituto Balseiro, Argentina, and also a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science from the National University of La Plata, Argentina.

He has worked and studied at places such as the Pierre et Marie Curie University, the Institut Non-Linéaire de Nice, the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Santa Fe Institute.

Gilberto Bernardes

University of Porto

Bio: Gilberto Bernardes has a multifaceted activity as a musician, professor, and researcher in sound and music computing. He holds a Ph.D. in digital media from the University of Porto and a Master of Music, cum laude, from the Amsterdamse Hogeschool Voor de Kunsten. His research agenda focuses on sampling-based synthesis techniques and cognitive-inspired pitch spaces, whose findings have been reported in over 40 scientific publications. His artistic activity counts with regular concerts in venues with recognized merit, such as Asia Culture Center (Korea); New York University (USA); Concertgebouw (Holland); and Casa da Música (Portugal). Bernardes is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Porto and a fellow researcher at INESC TEC, where he now leads the SMC Group.

Stefani Crabtree

University of Utah; Santa Fe Institute

Bio: Stefani A. Crabtree is Assistant Professor in Socio-Environmental Modeling in the Department of Environment and Society of the Quinney College of Natural Resources at Utah State University and the ASU-SFI Center for Biosocial Complex Systems Fellow at The Santa Fe Institute. She additionally holds external affiliation at three institutions: Research Associate at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Fellow at the Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires Paris, and Research Associate at the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage. Her research applies complex systems science modeling methodologies (such as agent-based modeling and network science) to problems in social science and ecology. Current research topics include the human place in ecosystems worldwide, the ability to use the archaeological past to calibrate our understanding of human resilience, and the feedbacks between ecosystem health and human health. Crabtree has published in general science and disciplinary journals across social science and ecology, including PNAS, Ecological Modelling, American Antiquity, Physics Today, Human Ecology, Journal of Archaeological Science, and Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. From 2016-2018 she was a post-doctoral researcher in the Human Environmental Dynamics laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Crabtree holds two Ph.D.s, one from Washington State University (Anthropology, 2016) and one from the Université de Franche-Comté (Maison des Sciences de l’Homme et l’Environnement, 2017).

Scot Gresham-Lancaster

composition, data sonification, performance

Bio: Scot Gresham-Lancaster
The focus of my current research is on the unrealized potential of Listening to Data or sonification
• Visiting Researcher CNMAT UC Berkeley
• 1st Frank & Marjorie Malina Art/Science Research Fellow
• The HUB - 2018 Winner of the ZKM GigaHertz Lifetime Achievement Award
• Sound Designer/Composer [https:/]
• Dallas Observer, Best Theatre Company 2017
• Performer/Composer/Designer Talking Trees with Bert Barten
• 10+ Cellphone Operas "A new type of online experience" Cellphonia with Steve Bull

As a member of the HUB, Scot is an early pioneer of networked computer music and has developed many "cellphone operas". He has created a series of co-located international Internet performances and worked developing audio for several games and interactive products. He is an expert in educational technology.

Collaborator with Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, Pierre-Alain Hubert and many others. He was a student of Roy Harris, Darius Milhaud, John Chowning, Robert Ashley, Terry Riley, "Blue" Gene Tyranny, David Cope among others.

Chris Kempes

Santa Fe Institute

Bio: Specific theories developed for individual processes or contexts are important and useful, but finding general principles that apply across vast amounts of phenomena is a central goal in science. In the broadest terms, this is Chris’ goal, to find theories and principles that apply to a wide range of biological scales and hierarchies.

Chris generally focuses his work on biological architecture—which may include phenomena ranging from explicit biological morphology to metabolic and genetic network structure—as an intermediate between organism physiology and environmental conditions. Mathematical and physical theories lie at the heart of his methodologies to predict how evolution has shaped architecture and how this, in turn, forms a foundation for reliable predictions of environmental response and interaction. His work spans the scales of genetic information architecture to the morphology of microbial individuals and communities to the regional variation of plant traits and their feedback with climate and available resources. In so doing, he aims to connect these first-order trends to the limitations imposed by environments in order to predict specific evolutionary events and consequences. Several collaborations with experimentalists and theorists have led to models that inform experiments and assimilate empirical data in fields including single-cell experimental biology and forest dynamics.

For example, Chris’ work on trees has applied a theory of plant architecture to derive individual physiology, interactions with the environment, and the unique whole forest structure of specific regions. This is theory that goes from individual branches to planetary-scale energy balance, but does so in a way that uses a small set of common principles and assumptions.

Roger Malina

University of Texas, Dallas

Bio: Roger Malina

Elizabeth Margulis

Princeton University

Bio: Elizabeth Margulis is Professor at Princeton University, where she directs the Music Cognition Lab. Her research approaches music from the combined perspectives of music theory/musicology and cognitive science. Her book On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind (Oxford University Press) received the 2014 Wallace Berry Award from the Society for Music Theory, and the 2015 ASCAP Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award. Her latest book The Psychology of Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press) was published in 2018 and has been translated into Spanish, Hungarian, and Japanese. Her cross-cultural research on narrative perceptions of music is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation. She has been a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Scholar. She is President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition.

Gustavo Martínez-Mekler


Bio: I am professor at the Instituto de Ciencias Físicas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), member of its Nonlinear Dynamics and Complexity Group and also participate in Centro de Ciencias de la Complejidad, UNAM. A physicist by training, I am enchanted by mathematics, fascinated by biology and in love with music. I obtained my physics BSc from UNAM, mathematics MSc from the University of Warwick and a physics PhD from Manchester University. I have spent sabbatical leaves at the Università degli Studi di Firenze, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Physics Department and Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champain) and École Normale Supérieure (Paris).

From a background on dynamical systems and statistical physics, I have worked on collective and critical phenomena, mostly in soft condensed matter and on the dynamics of extended nonlinear systems. With a complex systems approach, I have done research in: pattern formation in chemical reactions, seismology, vulcanism, systems biology (immunology, origin of life, ecological evolution, embryo development, fertilization, HIV genetic evolution and physiological time-series analysis), Science and Art, in particular Music. With regard to music I was a member of a Rock-Pop-Fusion group for over 10 years.

Tyler Marghetis

University of California, Merced; Santa Fe Institute

Bio: Tyler Marghetis studies the stable regimes and sudden ruptures of human thought and action. His research explores moments of insight in mathematicians, creative leaps in improvising musicians, and the shared conceptions of entire cultures. He is Assistant Professor of Cognitive and Information Sciences at the University of California, Merced, and an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. A native of Montreal, Canada, he studied mathematics and philosophy as an undergraduate (Concordia) and cognitive science for his PhD (University of California, San Diego), and completed postdoctoral training at Indiana University Bloomington.

Helena Miton

Santa Fe Institute

Bio: Helena’s research agenda approaches culture as an emergent effect of human everyday life. It aims to understand how individuals interact to produce, organize and transmit cultural systems. Aiming to redefine how we study culture, her research program includes both theoretical advances and empirical case studies. She studies cultural evolution using data from human and social sciences, with a strong emphasis on cognitive science. She plans on investigating how characteristics of small-scale interactions can impact cultural productions at larger scales, in the context of both technical knowledge and economic practices.

In her previous works, she has reviewed cultural transmission experiments in an attempt to bridge back these experiments and the theoretical constructs they aim to test, tested hypotheses on how maladaptative medical practices (e.g., bloodletting) can thrive, and on how complexity evolves in graphic communication systems (e.g., heraldry, writing).

Helena received her PhD in Cognitive Science from the Central European University (Budapest, Hungary). Prior to that, she earned a M.S in Cognitive Science from the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and Paris Descartes University, and a B.A. in Sociology from Paris Sorbonne University.

Mark Newman

University of Michigan; Santa Fe Institute

Bio: Anatol Rapoport Distinguished University Professor of Physics, Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan

Marc Santolini

CRI Research, Paris

Bio: Marc Santolini is team leader of the Interaction Data Lab at CRI Paris, a visiting researcher at the Barabasi Lab (Network Science Institute at Northeastern University, Boston), and the co-founder and Director of Research of Just One Giant Lab (JOGL), a nonprofit initiative aimed at developing decentralized open science challenges using smart digital tools. Trained in theoretical physics and philosophy of science at ENS Paris and Princeton University, he developed a strong interest in the universal organisational properties observed in real-world networks in various domains from biology to social sciences, leading him to work as a postdoc at the Barabasi Lab in Northeastern Univeristy and Harvard Medical School. He now leads a team at the Center for Research and Interdisciplinarity in Paris to unravel how communities innovate, learn and solve complex problems using network approaches on large empirical datasets, applying this knowledge in JOGL to develop algorithms fostering collective intelligence for social impact.

On the side of his research, he is interested on the intersection between complex systems and art (see for example the gallery: He is also a trained musician, with particular interest for jam music and large collectives such as Snarky Puppy, live coding electronic music using languages such as FoxDot and SuperCollider (eg Kolmogorov Toolbox), and loop-based, layered, improvised musical compositions (such as Jacques). He is fascinated by the intersection of regularity (loop, beat, theme) and surprise (improvisation in jam music, polythythmic emergence in loop-based or live coding) in driving such improvised compositions in unforeseen directions based on continuously produced emergent salient features. He is currently working on producing generative music “at the edge of chaos” using the FoxDot language.

Caroline Shaw

composition, performance

Bio: Caroline Shaw

David Stout

University of North Texas

Bio: David Stout is a visual artist, composer and performance director. He is cofounder of NoiseFold, an interactive media ensemble whose installations and performances have been presented worldwide. His audio-visual projects explore the aesthetic possibilities of transcoding systems, artificial life networks and generative virtual environments. He currently directs the Hybrid Arts Laboratory (HAL) at the University of North Texas, where he teaches intermedia performance and coordinates the Initiative for Advance Research in Technology and the Arts (iARTA). Stout holds joint positions in Music Composition and Studio Art.

Dmitri Tymoczko

Princeton University

Bio: Dmitri Tymoczko is a composer and failed former philosopher who loves to think about how music works. On this site you can listen to my music, learn what I think makes music sound good, find links to writing both technical and non, download jazz transcriptions, and check out various pieces of software I have written. My newest CD is called Fools and Angels (Panoramic/New Focus, 2018) and contains four eclectic pieces for vocals, live instruments, and electronics.

Sølvi Ystad

CNRS-PRISM, Marseille

Bio: Sølvi Ystad received the civil engineer degree in electronics from Norges Tekniske Høgskole (NTH), Trondheim, Norway in 1992, and the Ph.D. degree in acoustics from the University of Aix-Marseille II, Marseille, France, in 1998. After a Postdoctoral stay with the University of Stanford—CCRMA, California, she obtained a Researcher position with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Marseille, in 2002. In 2017, she cofounded the interdisciplinary art-science laboratory PRISM—Perception, Representations, Image, Sound, Music (, Marseille. Her research activities mainly focus on investigations of auditory perception through so-called perceptual engineering which consists of crossing different disciplines to link physical and signal knowledge with human perception and cognition.

Damian Zanette

CONICET, Bariloche - USA

Bio: Damian Zanette

Robert Zatorre

McGill University

Bio: Robert Zatorre