Windchime: Adding a Musical Dimension to the Act of Composing Written Text


Mon, Nov 5th, 2012 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

Tom MacWright calls Windchime a generative music system that "adds another dimension to the act of composing written text, whether it be software or English."

It's like word painting, a style of music in which the content dictates the presentation to inform at the edges. The words 'lower, lower, lower' would be sung, in successively lower notes, essentially using multiple channels of communication, like we use with facial expressions and speaking tone normally.

It also comes from the kind of feelings that Bret Victor has written about and what I heard from Brandon Martin-Anderson about whether his bike ever broken on his cross-country ride. He said yes, it did, but you could always tell what would go wrong far in advance. He'd hear a tire going flat or feel his chain getting old, buy one at a town, and fix it when it broke.

In comparison, computers feel like guessing, and making risky decisions with large consequences almost blindly.

This tries to be assistive technology in the mainstream. Windchime aims to only represent structure and feeling, to signal when things are right or wrong or stylistically different. And it's non-lexical -- audio is something that most people already work to, and which doesn't interrupt trains of thought.



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