Maze of Sound

Name: Soulbath Ӣ Rating: Cool Ӣ Format: Online Software Ӣ Play

Maze of online art and sound. Soulbath is less a distinct standalone application than a maze of interactive micro-sites. Many of the individual pages are pranks intended to poke fun at the familiar experience of personal computers gone haywire; the various digital bummers include ASCII-text illustrations of a dinosaur, flashing notifications of program errors, and the sort of poorly rendered HTML whose familiarity will register with the most casual Internet surfer. But, as stated in Soulbath’s explanatory note, itself buried deep in the site, “there is a strong audio visual link between the different elements and if you leave some windows open, you can almost play it like an instrument.”

Volume 1 of what’s described as an ongoing series of online installations, the current iteration of Soulbath includes several programming feats that involve the production of musical sounds as the result of a combination of mouse clicks and keyboard activity. As you make your way through the interface, keep an eye out for the entries titled “Square1,” “h.comb:riddim” and “hp.ra,” which are among Soulbath’s most musically sophisticated. The site’s primary interface, a grid of highly sensitive squares, is itself a hair-trigger music-making machine that invites repeated use. You can enter the site at the initial home page here, or bypass some of the information-age tomfoolery by starting here. (Thanks to Disquiet reader Bernard Vehmeyer for having recommended this link.)

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