Electronic musical instrument researcher Rob Hordijk first started experimenting with his Runglers back in the early 1980s. A ‘Rungler‘ is, in essence, a pseudorandom Chaos Wave Generator – which (in its simplest form) can be realised with a recirculating digital shift register that is clocked by one oscillator whilst receiving its data input from another. Creating what Hordijk calls a ‘Stepped Havoc Wave’.
The Rungler paradigm has now been incorporated (along with a Twin Peak Resonator) into Hordijk’s Blippoo Box – a new and completely unique chaos-based electronic musical instrument which is described by its designer in the latest issue the Leonardo Music Journal ( MIT press). Hordijk explains how chaos theory is woven into the underlying fabric of the Blippoo.
“By using a nonlinear feedback system, patterns are created that exhibit chaotic properties like attractors, bifurcations, etc. Second, the filter also uses a nonlinear feedback system that can go into ranges where bifurcations occur, which results in the creation of ‘undertones’, where the period doublings create harmonic partials that are lower in frequency as the signal fed into the filter.”
Thus allowing the Blippoo Box to attempt to “… bridge a crossover space between abstract (sonic) art, music and artistic craftsmanship.” It should be noted though that the Blippoo is, by design, not 100% chaotic, as its inventor explains :
“… the produced sounds have particular characteristics that are roughly predictable and enable a performer to build a performance around a composed scheme.”