Cycles is a procedural music composition about appreciating a forest through all parts of its life cycle. Experience billions of unique generations of the piece.

Cycles is a procedural music composition about appreciating a forest through all parts of its life cycle.

What Is This?
Cycles is an audiovisual composition. When you launch Cycles, you can view a performance of the piece. If you let it run, it will create a new performance, then another, infinitely; these are completely different generations of the piece. This is because Cycles is procedurally generated, every time (like a Minecraft world). Each generation is related, and may sound kind of similar, but might sound totally different. There are billions of possible generations—you don't have to watch every one, of course, but it's nice to think that the one you're watching has probably never been seen by anyone else. You can even share a nice one with a friend if you'd like.
What Is This not?
Cycles is non-interactive—there are hotkeys, if you'd like to view a specific generation, or ensure a specific visual mode, but the piece generates automatically. You can watch the performance, but you won't perform it yourself.
Why Does It Exist?
Two reasons—one practical, one philosophical. First, I am a composer, and suddenly game engines have become an extremely legitimate tool for composing music. Not just writing music for games—actually composing with the procedural tools inside an engine (in this case, Unreal Engine 5). Despite this, few composers are doing so.
The second reason goes back to what the piece is about. Having lived in California for about a decade, I've found it challenging to see places I love burn in wildfires. I was excited to have the opportunity to create a work touching on this for Big Basin Redwood State Park (much of which burned in the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex fire), and immediately I thought that a procedural composition would be well-suited for this topic. Cycles continually generates new compositions, one after another—each iteration of the piece derives from the same source material and compositional rules, but the generation incorporates enough environmental chance that no two renderings are the same (and some are in fact very different).
Surprisingly, this algorithmic, "digital" feature represents the natural world quite closely. A forest that grows back after a fire is created from many of the same common inputs as the forest that came before it (species, weather, sun exposure, etc.); however, it won't grow back in exactly the same way. Recognizing these two aspects—the uniqueness of the moment in time, and the relationship to the same moment in other cycles—was helpful to me in appreciating fire as a natural part of a forest.
I hope you'll enjoy the music I've created with this process.




OS versionWindows 7
OS versionWindows 11
CPUX64 Dual Core CPU, 2+ GHz
CPUX64 Quad Core CPU, 3+ GHz
Memory4 GB RAM
Memory8 GB RAM
GPUDiscrete GPU with 1 GB RAM
SoundCardBest with nice speakers/headphones
  • 音声: 該当なし
  • テキスト: English
©2024, patrick hart