Jason Freeman

MetaMix is algorithmic audio remixing software for Mac OS X and Windows 98/ME/2000/XP. It is a musical composition in that it creates original music, but it consists entirely of direct quotations, and the source of those quotations is not even predetermined. It is a software tool in that it manipulates audio files, but its functionality is too narrowly focused to be of practical use, and it lacks even the built-in ability to save or record its creations. It is a digital audio player in that it plays compact discs and MP3 files, but it would take longer than the age of the universe for it to reach the end of a five-minute audio track. It is an interactive experience in that musical output is dependent on user input, but users are encouraged to set a few parameters, press play, and then let the software run without further intervention — for hours or even days at a time. And it is a work of conceptual art in that it is the stubborn realization of a single simple idea, but its intent is to communicate musical structure more than to communicate a concept.

The concept behind MetaMix is simple. Take a user-supplied audio file. Divide it into equal-length chunks. Label those chunks with the natural numbers: 0, 1, 2, 3,…. Rearrange those chunks as dictated by an interesting (and usually self-similar) infinite integer sequence. Essentially, MetaMix superimposes a new musical form onto pre-existing musical material.

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keywords: remix-process-mathematical-automation-realtime-
musical-conceptual-algorithmic software for mac and windows
category: artistic tool/audiovisual
uploaded by jason, 18 Jan 2003

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