The general case for linking music and chaos theory can be made on several levels, from the metaphoric to the procedural. At the most basic level is the irresistible connection between the visible patterns of chaotic equations and the motion and contours of organic systems themselves; it is not for nothing that Conway referred to his early cellular automata system as the Game of Life. This organic quality is a point of connection with music, which has a long and rich relationship with metaphors of nature. As long as people have spoken about music they have referred to nature as a simile, music sounds “fluid” or “wild”: notwithstanding when music is referred to anthropomorphically, as an avatar of persons or personae, “human” and “nature” can both be subsumed in music. Many composers who work with chaos theory, this writer included, describe this connection as their own gateway to using non linear dynamic systems as a compositional tool or subject. Composers have a tendency to see the world in terms of music, or at least in terms of the aspects of music they resonate with, and for certain composers, chaos theory can be seen to have musical qualities in relation to variation and transformation through iteration. In his essay “Music and Fractals,” composer Charles Wuorinen (1938–) describes what for him are fractal characteristics of music:

[…] in traditional western diatonic-tonal music, there is a strong tendency for similar structures to appear on different time-scales. Thus the same harmonic progression may 894determine the course of a whole movement, of a sizable section of it, or of a single short phrase. Traditional terminology shows, by its indifference to scale, how deeply imbedded self-affine structures in compositions are: “C major” can refer to a single sonority, the key of a phrase, a movement-section, a whole movement, or the key of an entire work. And in post-tonal music similar structures on differing time-scales are certainly present.