All the World’s a Sound Stage

If you like aleatory music, you’ll love the new iPhone app RjDj:

The application includes a set of entrancing songs that go on forever, using the iPhone’s internal microphone to ‘listen’ to the noises and voices heard in your proximity to dynamically create music.

I earlier blogged about this type of unexpected fixation of sound in the context of overheard conversations; I wonder if this raises any new copyright issues. It’s certainly more transformative than “Overheard in New York.”

The RjDj app reminds me a bit of Thich Nhat Hanh’s advice to approach both “garbage and flowers” with equanimity. It promises to turn even the most annoying loudmouth on the sidewalk into an instrument in an electronica symphony. I’m hoping it will be more popular than bubble wrap and less. . . er. . . edifying apps.

Sample song below the fold . . . .


I’m also wondering if we’ll ever see something like a Blagojevich ringtone:

Protests organized by SMS helped unseat Joseph Estrada in the Philippines and bring President Gloria Arroyo to power. When Arroyo found herself embroiled in a corruption scandal involving tape recordings of phonecalls to voting commissioner Virgilio Garcillano, one of the tools activists used to spread information was a ringtone. The ringtone featured a snippet of dialog between Arroyo and Garcillano and rapidly became one of the world’s most downloaded ringtones and spawning over a dozen remixed versions. The personal nature of mobile phones makes them the perfect venue for protest, even if the protest is as innocuous as having your phone chirp “Hello Garcia?” in the President’s voice every time you get an SMS. What the mobile giveth, it can taketh away.

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