New musical notation using neighborhoods
My friend Britta showed me this internet gem: a musical composition game where you make sound via the neighborhood. Isle of Tune allows you to build roadways decorated with trees, flowers, streetlamps and houses, each with its own characteristic sound that plays when one of up to three cars pass it. I sat down for a few hours and created the following tune. After showing it to some friends and getting positive feedback, I decided to notate a more popular song.
After attempting to fill every square with an object, I also managed to break Isle of Tune’s sidewalk building algorithm in this island. The gray sidewalks on the side of the roads appear bizarre and the cars also don’t go in the intended direction. I’m not sure whether I’m pleased with this, because the original island I had was pretty cool: it was a standard neighborhood layout with grid-like streets, and I even set up the arrows so that the cars would navigate back and forth across the whole island. On the other hand, it’s kind of interesting to see the result in this peculiar form, too.
All fun aside, I also wanted to make an Island that showed how the game could also be used to make more mathematically viable creations. A road is a progression in time (a stave, if you will), and items on the road are notes, representing different rhythms, pitches and timbres. A “city block” in this game can represent a musical loop, provided that the arrows on the corners are facing the right way to carry the car around the block. Square loops of different sizes will create different loop lengths. This immediately made me think of Steve Reich’s Clapping Music. Naturally, I had to implement that, too, in Isle of Tune.