Carla Scaletti - Cyclonic

Featured Artists

Carla Scaletti - Cyclonic


About Cyclonic:


Taking its name from the rotational motion associated with powerful meteorological events, Cyclonic was inspired by the awesome power of the weather in east central Illinois and plays at the edges between events as recorded, events as experienced, events as remembered, and events as imagined.


Pitches were derived from the frequencies in the National Weather Service alert signal, and the concept of a Cycle is abstracted in various ways ranging from an endlessly accelerating pan to endless (cyclic) increases in the pitches of synthetically generated sirens and filterbanks processing synthetic wind.


Apart from rain, thunder, and wind sounds recorded in downtown Champaign, the entire piece was synthesized in Kyma.


NB: This is a binaural mix of a multichannel version available from the composer.


This work was commissioned by the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios in commemoration of its 50th anniversary celebration.

Carla Scaletti is an American harpist, composer and music technologist. Both an accomplished academic as well as a creative force, Carla is a true innovator with far reaching influence in the world of sound design and electronic music.

After completing a bachelor's of music from the University of New Mexico, a masters of music fromTexas Tech University, a masters of computer science from the University of Illinois and a doctorate in music composition from the same school.

She worked as principal harpist in the New Mexico and Lubbock Symphony Orchestras and composed for acoustic instruments during the 1970's. Later she developed an interest in computer generated music and worked as a researcher at the CERL Sound Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She was also a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois before leaving the university to launch the Symbolic Sound Corporation.

Scaletti designed the Kyma sound generation computer language and co-founded Symbolic Sound Corporation with Kurt J. Hebel in 1989. She is a member of the executive committee for the IEEE Task Force on Computer Music, a member of the advisory board for the Electronic Music Foundation, and is the founder and chair of SIGSound, a special interest group within the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

Scaletti also serves as the president of the Salvatore Martirano Foundation. In addition Carla has published professional articles in the Computer Music Journal, proceedings of the OOPSLA and SPIE conferences, Perspectives of New Music, and as book chapters. In 2003 she received the Distinguished Alumnae Award for contributions in the field of music from Texas Tech University.


Carla Scaletti's work is an emergent property of a felicitous collision of art and science:

  • Mu-psi is the sonic parallel to Sci-Fi
  • Sonification is the process of mapping data to sound in order to better understand the data
  • Kyma is a computer language for specifying and manipulating sound