Daphna Raz

  • Composer
  • Violinist
  • Developer

About me

I am a graduate student in Media Arts at the University of Michigan, exploring creative ways to unite music, design, and computer science. During my undergrad (also at Michigan), I focused on violin performance and musical analysis. After graduation, I moved to Berlin, Germany, to work at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development as a research assistant. At the MPI, I assisted the “Interactive Brains, Social Minds” research group. This research group has been using music performance as a model for neural coupling that facilitates inter-personal coordination. Since returning to Michigan for my masters, I have performed with some of most prestigious musical organizations in the metro Detroit area, such as the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Detroit, and the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. My goal is to continue to explore the idea of sonifying mathematical structures in a coherent way. In addition to its strong aesthetic appeal, I feel that this work might also have educational value. I also love to compose, and look forward to writing large scale works for violin and electronics. You can find examples of my sonifications and my electroacoustic composition in the music section.

My music


  • Berlin

    Berlin is a piece inspired by the three years I spent living in Berlin. For Violin (me) and Fixed Media (Logic and Ableton).

  • Oror: in memoriam

    “Oror” is an arrangement of a lullaby by Komitas, a famous Armenian composer and ethnomusicologist. It was premiered in a concert featuring instruments created by the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble. My instrument, ‘urDuduk’ synthesized the sound of the Armenian oboe.

    Here is a cool behind the scenes look at the Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble.


  • QuickSort

    QuickSort is difficult to sonify due to its recursive nature, so I chose to compose with SuperCollider rather than Max. What instantly struck me as a unique quality of Quick Sort is the presence of a “pivot” element for each iteration. In my piece, the pivot notes serve as a doubled bass note, and are sustained throughout each iteration. As the whole tone scale is recursively sorted down each level of its tree structure, the sound of the non-pivot notes gradually becomes shorter and pluckier.

  • BubbleSort

    While learning about the Bubble Sort algorithm in a discrete math course, I became fascinated by the idea of what such an algorithm would sound like, if the numbers being sorted were mapped on to notes. I created Max/MSP patch which plays each iteration of a bubble sort. The beautiful results inspired me to write a piece using the output of this patch. In this piece, you can hear unordered ascending and descending scales gradually being resorted into their proper order.

Contact me

You can find me on Twitter and SoundCloud .