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 Wolfram_Tones_ 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, Wolfram_Tones_ 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.