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The Arpeggigon is an interactive cellular automaton for composing groove-based music. It is a hexagonal grid laid out as a Harmonic Table where moving one step in each of the six possible directions corresponds to a musically meaningful interval. The automaton is configured by placing different types of tokens on the grid. When the automaton runs, so called play heads bounce between these tokens in a pinball-like manner, and a sound is made or some other action takes place whenever a play head hits a token.
The Arpeggigon is implemented in Haskell using the frameworks Functional Reactive Programming (FRP) and Reactive Values and Relations. During this talk, you will discover how FRP and its capabilities for handling hybrid (discrete and continuous) time aligns with the temporal and declarative nature of music, thus facilitating developing this kind of application, and by extension applications in domains with similar traits, and how Reactive Values and Relations provide a bridge between the purely functional FRP core of the application and the imperative outside world in a manner that has a relatively declarative reading yet easily accommodates imperative aspects where needed.
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Dr. Henrik Nilsson is a Lecturer at the School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from Linköping University, Sweden. His topic was debugging techniques and tools for lazy functional languages. Prior to taking up his current post, Dr. Nilsson held a position as Associate Research Scientist at the Department of Computer Science, Yale University, working mainly on Functional Reactive Programming with Prof. Paul Hudak. Dr. Nilsson's current research interests include functional programming, reactive programming, domain-specific languages for modelling and simulation, and unified notions of effectful computation.