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Harmonic duality : from interval ratios and pitch distance to spectra and sensory dissonance

Dissonance curves are the starting point for an investigation into a psychoacoustically informed harmony. Its main hypothesis is that harmony consists of two independent but intertwined aspects operating simultaneously, namely proportionality and linear pitch distance. The former aspect is related to intervallic characters, the latter to ‘high’, ‘low’, ‘bright’ and ‘dark’, therefore to timbre. This research of Juan Sebastian Lach Lau derives from the development of tools for algorithmic composition which extract pitch materials from sound signals, analyzing them according to their timbral and harmonic properties, putting them into motion through diverse rhythmic and textural procedures. The tools and the reflections derived from their use offer fertile ideas for the generation of instrumental scores, electroacoustic soundscapes and interactive live-electronic systems.

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