UPDATE! Rollerchimp wins a special prize for Mobile Phone Orchestra at the 2013 ZKM AppArtAwards.
The mobile phone orchestra is a sonic experiment in automated collaborative composition. With the rise of the portable .mp3 player we find ourselves surrounded by crowds of people all wearing headphones, immersed in their own private sonic landscape. The Mobile Phone Orchestra attempts to blend these private landscapes together to create a shared sonic environment that is unique to each separate performance.
The free iOS app plays a unique five minute composition using small snippets of the user’s ipod library for the instrumentation. The mobile phone orchestra requires at least four iphones which all play together to form a unique performance. Using the tiny difference in clock time between each device, complex rhythmical and spatial patterns can occur. As the exact snippets of music used to perform the piece, the composition relies on elements of chance to create sonically interesting textures that combine and juxtapose with each device to form a rich tapestry of sound.
The phones are to placed at a distance of between 20cm to 100cm apart, which can be arranged in any spatial pattern and the random nature of the timing will create interesting animated patterns within this spatial ordering.
The app will perform the composition from any song that is ‘now playing’ in the ipod music player. If no song is ‘now playing’ then random songs are taken from the music library.
The composed tape speed effects and sequencing manipulate the itunes audio to create new textures which combine with each other ‘performer’ in the orchestra to create an infinite number of possible spectromorphologies.