Ambient Machine : Final Presentation

Abstract:  I set out to design an experience with essentially no barrier to entry for engagement with a suite of musical sketches. Music makers are freed from standard compositional choices like what note to select, and what should it sound like. and non music makers have nothing standing between them and an expressive and thoughtful musical experience. 

  Now users only have time based choices to make - when to let a ball drop, triggering a random sample from each ball's predesigned array of sounds.  the sounds within an array modulate and sometimes change note value, so the experience becomes even more evolving than if there were only one sound sample per ball.  random melodies are generated and subtle sonic movements are baked in so that the user can create a song arc from a simple and intuitive framework of interaction.

In the future: I'd like to develop this into a mobile app release.  Or perhaps a small speaker box device similar to FM3, but which allows for ball/sample control.  Aim for Kickstarter.

Inspiration : "Re-make one project every semester."  - Michael Levitz, recounting advice he got at ITP.

Thank You!! : Yining Shi, Shawn Van Every, Justin Peake, Kat Sullivan, and our ICM class playtesters! 

Changing course : a new Final Project idea

Inspirations from Jaron Lanier's You Are Not a Gadget

"If you hope for technology to be designed to serve people, you must have at least a rough idea of what a person is and is not." pg 154

ch 2 " An apocalypse of self-abdication"

   --> "Making people obsolete so that computers seem more advanced "

Problems with Backdrop project idea: 

dilutes the specialness of humans by amalgamating and qualifying a small collection of data they've made public.

would be hard to register the change in the generated/selected ambient soundscape that i want to occur when individuals enter or leave a space. too subtle a medium to really communicate this central element of interactivity.

i'm not sophisticated enough and the input api data wouldn't go deep enough ( playlist information leads to questions of the nature of playlists = flawed )

maybe down the road a better handle on machine learning could lead me back to this idea.

Backdrop would attempt to learn the average type of apple a group enjoys and then suggest an orange for everyone = flawed. 

gets away from hive mind.

A new idea, based on an old one:

What Ambient Toy sets out to do is create a series of interactive musical "apps" that allow user to record their own uses and creations.  Would introduce record/playback functionality. Perhaps a site where recorded tracks could be posted/shared.

Would simplify, and focus less on computationalism and more on the individual specialness of individuals. 

This would push farther ahead than my last projects though, by involving the Tone.js library.  This would get away from the originating samples that I design and make way for other musical evolutions based on networked input.

Backdrop : Final Project Proposal

    The project I'd like to make for my ICM final is a democratic ambient music soundtrack, which analyzes the combinations of peoples' unique qualities in a shared space.  Similar to the behavior of certain smart home environments, this project will produce a passive listening, instrumental playlist that is conducive to conversing, working, or relaxing.

Who is this for?

  People at an office, meeting, or co-working space.  Customers at a cafe.  Students in an academic study environment.  And not least of these; fans of ambient music.  

How will it work?

  Perhaps a p5 sketch, but likely a Node.js project, this will take input from the phones' geolocation and the Spotify or EchoNest APIs so that information about musical taste and listening habits can be gleaned.  If users sign in or enter their Spotify name the API should be able to understand more about them, and gain a picture of the venn diagram of overlapping musical interest with the other members of that geolocated space.  The challenge will be the output I think, which might ideally not come from the Spotify library.  There might also be a visual output available as well, so that people could see who else occupied space could was thus affecting the soundtrack, perhaps including some sort of ambient visual animation accompaniament.  

Why do I want this in the world?

  Do you love music, and hate when someone more extroverted or opportunistic seizes control of the DJ duties at a function, only to put on something you don't enjoy or find appropriate?  I do.  The wrong musical selection can distract you from your work or reading, hinder good conversation amongst friends and peers, and sometimes make you want to leave a space altogether.  Ambient music is perfectly suited to solve this problem of stylistic taste differences.  Equally important, it could democratize and enrich the experience of music in a shared space, as it interprets and distills the points of intersection amongst users' taste while outputting a soundtrack that is both functional, subtle, and evolving.   I think this could be very beautiful.



Spotify API :





This week I incorporated JSON data and API Queries into a new iteration of my p5 sketch from last week.  

I really need to figure out how to FTP my desktop editor projects so that these are web-viewable.  

Also this hasn't completely started working. :/  The idea here is to have both the gravity function and the background color be affected by the query return of a city's temperature (fahrenheit).