Wolfram’s Tones

WolframTones mixes hard science with social software in the form of a ringtone generator.

Each click on any of the 15 style buttons yields a “unique [note: not random] composition.” Why not random? The FAQs note:

Once WolframTones has picked a Rule to use, all the notes it will generate are in principle determined. But that doesn’t mean there’s an easy way to predict them; in fact, Wolfram’s phenomenon of computational irreducibility shows that in general there can’t be. So even though there’s no explicit randomness put in, WolframTones rules can still intrinsically generate effective randomness. But there are still rules, and that’s crucial to producing compositions that globally “make sense.”

They’re calling it a New Kind of Music (and because we need more TLAs: NKM), a more than passing reference to company founder Stephen Wolfram’s A New Kind of Science (full-text online).

I seem to like the results of the “classical” button, especially this one, but it’s this “signalling” composition that I want to use as a ringtone.

Tip of the hat to memepool.

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