February 13, 2014, is the official release date for my 33 1/3 book on Aphex Twin's 1994 album Selected Ambient Works Volume II, available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

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

Cellular Automata MP3s for the People

The Automaton audio software tool applies the classic rules-based, artificial intelligence Game of Life to sound. It was released this past weekend by Audio Damage, and on Sunday shots of the interface served as images of the week here (disquiet.com).

Now, much like the pixelated patterns in the Game of Life, Automaton is propagating across the Internet in unexpected but not unforeseen ways, largely as initial demos by curious early adapters.

On the software’s Audio Damage homepage (audiodamage.com) there are two samples, one rhythmic (MP3) and one melodic (MP3), that show how the controlled randomness of Automaton can affect music over time.

In the always active comments at createdigitalmusic.com, participants were posting the results of their initial experiments. Kent Williams (aka Chaircrusher, founder of the cornwarning.com label — based in Iowa, naturally) took Julie Andrews‘s take on “The Sound of Music” and put it through the Automaton grinder, showing how it can automate glitchy remixes (MP3, createdigitalmusic.com). And one Fall a Star (fallsastar.com) posted a multiple-instance application of Automaton on a dubby, rhythmic original material (MP3, createdigitalmusic.com).

Also, thanks go out to Disquiet.com reader Davis who pointed out an earlier, Nintendo DS hack called glitchDS that uses the Game of Life as an audio manipulator. Video evidence at youtube.com and youtube.com. More details at glitchds.com. Here’s a screenshot from one of the youtube.com videos:

By Marc Weidenbaum

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