Maria Mannone

An Approach to Connections between Nature, Mathematics, and the Arts

Maria Mannone

Università di Palermo

25 June 2019, 10:00

Ca' Bottacin, Room A


Is it possible to find some paths within the tangled branches and roots of a Ficus macrophylla s. columnaris, the gigantic tree called choker ficus? Is it possible to schematize these paths as essential lines, and thus into music? Vegetal and animal forms from nature can be mathematically rethought and then translated into music. A particular branch of mathematics, category theory, appears as one of the most appropriate tools to “simplify complexity” and study abstract connections and interconnections of nature to art (drawing, music, and dance).

We can also wonder if this STEAM-like approach born in a niche framework such as mathematics and the arts could be extended to open questions and “global challenges.” In conclusion, we have a math-musical tribute to Venice, with the musical translation of essential lines of some gondolas. 

Bio sketch

Maria Mannone (Palermo, 1985) earned her Master in Theoretical Physics and Masters in Composition, Conducting, and Piano in Italy. In Paris, at IRCAM – UPMC Paris 6 Sorbonne, she earned her Master 2 ATIAM in Acoustics, Signal Processing, and Informatics applied to Music. In the US, at the University of Minnesota, she earned her Ph.D. in Composition. Her musical compositions have been performed by the Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, and during the Festival delle Orestiadi di Gibellina and the Arts Quarter Festival at the University of Minnesota. 

She is developing interdisciplinary research in mathematics, music, and the visual arts. An author and co-author of books and chapters in this emerging area of study, she has also given lectures and talks in Italy (Palermo: Department of Physics and Department of Mathematics and Informatics of the University; Conservatory “Alessandro Scarlatti” formerly called “Vincenzo Bellini”), Portugal (Universidade Católica Portuguesa of Porto), UK (London: Queen Mary University; University of Greenwich; Goldsmiths University; Milton Keynes: Open University), Germany (Berlin: Leibniz-Zentrum Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft), Japan (Sendai: Tohoku University), USA (Minnesota: University of Minnesota; Kentucky: Northern Kentucky University; Georgia: Joint Mathematics Meetings 2017; California: Joint Mathematics Meetings 2018; Virginia: NIME 2018 at Virginia Tech).

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