It’s more addictive than Angry Birds, perhaps as relaxing as transcendental meditation, and satisfyingly simpler than GarageBand. It’s Otomata, a newly programmed generative sequencer designed by Batuhan Bozkurt, a Turkish sound artist, computer programmer, and performer. But really, it’s best described as an audio/visual music toy that anybody can play online—with beautiful results.
Devised in HaXe, Otomata employs cellular automation-like logic to create sounds via a grid of cells that the musician (you) controls. When activated, each live cell is programmed to run either up, down, left or right. When a cell hits a wall, a sound is triggered. The nine pitches along the walls are tuned using a hang drum’s scale (D A Bb C D E F A C).
After the hit, it bounces off and heads the opposite way, waiting to make another collisional sound at the other end. You can add as many musical cells as you want. That means they’ll eventually run into each other, and when they do, they’ll auto-turn clockwise, making your music piece one that constantly evolves and never repeats.
I can’t decide what’s better—drifting off to the music or relaxing to the visual stimuli. And what’s most exciting is that an Android and iPhone app is in the making!
Now, go experiment! Share your experience below.