Improvisation and electronic processing are important elements in Anthony Pateras' work, influencing even notated pieces for more conventional ensembles. Chromatophore, for amplified strings, was commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and premiered by that group in 2003. The following year it was selected for the International Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam. The composer has provided the following note:
"Chromatophore is divided into 13 brief sections, beginning with a growing cloud of noise-based extended techniques and ending with a shimmering, multi-temporal band of ascending chromatic pitches. In between these points, one note is added every section until all diatonic pitches are present - each section exploring the possibilities of the given pitch limitation.
"The material often sees the players playing in independent time on a microcosmic level, while the overruling macrocosmic structure maintains compositional integrity and focus. As an overall effect, this creates a performance fluidity executed within recognizable systems of sonic development (formation and dissolution). It creates controlled independence within the ensemble, producing eight temporally independent lines which evolve concurrently and as one."