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Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Shakespeare Auto-Mashup

Name: Shakespeare Cuisinart • Rating: Way Cool • Format: Phone Service • Info

Get thee to a phone booth. Shakespeare Cuisinart is an automated composition machine that you activate with your telephone. The instructions are simple: you dial a phone number and, when prompted, speak for up to 20 seconds. The Cuisinart then produces a piece of musique concrete from your words, looping them, slicing them up, layering them. To access the service, dial 1-800-555-TELL. When you get to what’s called the “main menu,” enter the code: 133156. Instructions will follow. (And yes, it’s free.)

The software was created by Columbia graduate student Jason Freeman, who suggests that people use their favorite quote from the Bard for source material. The Cuisinart temporarily saves the files on the Internet, so you can download your composition to your computer, or email it to a friend.

Here are two such samples, saved as half-megabyte “.wav” files: (1) “DisquietIntro.wav” (475K), a quote from the introduction to the Disquiet.com web site, and (2) “DisquietBeat.wav” (688K), for which the sound was a simple, steady tapped rhythm. (This service came to Disquiet’s attention thanks to an article by Matthew Mirapaul in the June 25, 2001, edition of the New York Times.)

By Marc Weidenbaum

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