Erik Nyström

  • Year of composition: 2011-12
  • Duration: 12:15
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9138098483


ISRC CAD501410032

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

“[…] all sorts of agents and events that act in an unpredictable, disorderly fashion and have in common the fact that they all grind things into pieces.”

Rudolf Arnheim, Entropy and Art (1971)

The title alludes to phases where sound is undergoing a process of molecular milling, fragmenting into its most primitive constituents, not unlike the ‘catabolic processes’ Rudolf Arnheim described in his essay Entropy and Art. Arnheim argued that all aesthetic or functional objects are results of the opposing ‘anabolic tendency’ — a universal force of shape-building, instilling in all objects a structural theme.

In Catabolisms, an anabolic tendency is found also in destructive forces, as implosions and corrosions become aesthetic phenomena in their own right. Energy dissipating among these textures builds a momentum which breeds new formations in a continual morphogenesis. Thus the work shapes its own destiny, as lumpy, powdery, sticky, porous aggregations of particles are strung up into spectral clouds, strata, and cascades in an interaction among turbulent forces. As in our physical world, crises occur where creation and decay are in synergy; entropic byproducts become a fertile terrain for a self-propagating universe of sound.


Catabolisms was realized in 2011-12 in the Electroacoustic Studio of City University London (England, UK) and premiered on April 17, 2012 during the SuperCollider Symposium 2012 at City University London.


  • April 17, 2012, SuperCollider Symposium 2012: Electroacoustic Concert, Performance Space — College Building — City, University of London, London (England, UK)