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The Infinite Jukebox


When I set up this blog the intention was to use it as, among other things, a space to share and comment on interesting stuff I found in the real and virtual world. Suffice to say there’s a bit of a back log, but in my search for visual stimuli for an event I’m doing with my partners in (musical) crime, Cleveland Watkiss and Orphy Robinson, (more on that in a later post) I found this really cool web app:http://labs.echonest.com/Uploader/index.html

For a change this one’s not just for the digrerati among us. It’s called the Infinite Jukebox. Geeks will marvel at the creative coding, but music fans will have a lot of fun with it too. Simply described it allows you to upload music (MP3s only at the moment) and have it play through the track picking out sections to loop (repeat) randomly. By randomly I mean it will play through the music normally and then suddenly decide to loop a section once, twice or many times then move on before deciding to pick another section to repeat. You know that tune that when you play it you never want it to end? Try uploading that. It works best with beat orientated music – although it doesn’t always have to be in 4/4 house junkies!

About 18months ago I got into the data-visualisation thing, fascinated by a new twist on content-based/thematic art – taking data and creating beautiful things that, if done well, crystalises the information into an immediately comprehensible representation and form. During this period I poured through both editions of “Information Is Beautiful” and interestingly enough the “Infinite Jukebox” is up for one of their awards. There’s a link at the bottom of the app that you can follow to vote for it if you’re sufficiently wowed. Beware though, if you’re anything like me, you could loose a lot of time playing with some other equally engaging ‘information art’ in the interactive category.

Meanwhile I ended up using a visualisation (the image above) generated in the “…Jukebox” by the track of my own below in the artwork for an event we’re doing at the London Jazz Festival. The event is all about technology-facilitated live looping and improvisation! Serendipity continues to rule my life!

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