Bluebrain, our favorite performance art/ electro pop duo, who will playing a massive multimedia show this weekend at our favorite Arlington art-sphere, have an exclusive download just for you BYT readers. It’s their new musical ambient art experiment album thing! Here’s brother Ryan to explain more…
BLUEBRAIN – ‘Kong’
A few years back, I stumbled upon an item at a record shop in New York called a Buddha Machine. The concept behind the small, plastic device was simply to give anyone the ability to create ambient music by providing a set number of loops that could then be manipulated slightly through hardware controls built into the box. The sounds were prerecorded but the pitch and speed could be changed by the user. Hays and I were curious to see if it was possible to write a piece of music that allowed certain variables to be manipulated but within software that anyone with a computer already has installed: iTunes. The resulting attempt is a work we call ‘Kong’, a non-linear piece of music containing dozens of short clips that fade into one another. Each clip is 24.6 seconds in length. With a 12 second fade between these clips (which can be adjusted in the iTunes prefences), there will always be two clips playing simultaneously. By setting the playlist to ‘shuffle’ mode, iTunes then generates a unique piece of music virtually every time it’s played. And with the ‘Repeat’ function enabled, it would take approximately 6439840 plays to hear the same combination twice. (We welcome a math checker on that one. Neither of us were particularly good at the subject in school. In fact, this number is almost certainly wrong.)
Thanks for listening and feel free to incorporate ‘Kong’ into your own compositions as well. This music is free for anyone to use. Let us know if you have any questions or comments in the comment section below or by emailing us at [email protected]
1. Download and unzip the file named BLUEBRAIN_KONG.
2. Create a new playlist in iTunes, then drag and drop the contents of the folder into the playlist.
3. Enable Shuffle mode and Repeat playlist mode. These can be found at the bottom left of your iTunes window (see figure 1)
4. Go into the iTunes preferences and click on the second tab called Playback. Turn the Crossfade Songs slider all the way to the right, 12 seconds. See figure 2.
5. Return to the playlist and click on the first song to begin playback.
So download the tracks and try the experiment, and don’t forget to go see them this weekend at Artisphere!