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.

 

References

Spotify API : https://developer.spotify.com/web-api/

Echonest: http://the.echonest.com/

Node.js: https://nodejs.org/en/