Networked_Music_Review Commission: “Flou” by Jason Freeman, with Andrew Beck, Xiang Cao, Mark Godfrey, Jagadeeswaran Jayaprakash, Al Matthews, Rachel Ponder, Alex Rae, and Sriram Viswanathan
Needs Java 1.5+
“Flou” (pronounced “flew”) is not exactly a game; you do fly a ship through space, but you cannot shoot anything, score points, or win or lose. The focus, rather, is on the soundtrack: as you navigate through a 3D world and zoom through objects in space, you add loops and apply effects to an ever-evolving musical mix. You can also design your own worlds to fly through and share them with other “Flou” users.
“Flou” is a 2007 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for Networked_Music_Review. It was made possible with funding from the New York State Music Fund, established by the New York State Attorney General at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.
Jason Freeman (http://www.jasonfreeman.net) uses new technology and unconventional notation to break down barriers between composers, performers, and listeners, creating music that “stands as an example of the Web’s mind-expanding possibilities” (Billboard) and helps to “bring composition into the Xbox age” (Wired). Recent projects include “Flock”, a full-evening performance for saxophone quartet, dancers, and audience participation commissioned by Carnival Center for the Performing Arts in Miami; “Graph Theory”, a solo violin and web-based work commissioned by Turbulence; “iTunes Signature Maker”, a software artwork commissioned by Rhizome; and “Glimmer”, an audience-participation piece commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra. Freeman received his B.A. in music from Yale University and his M.A. and D.M.A. in composition from Columbia University. He is currently an assistant professor at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, where he teaches in the Music Department in the College of Architecture.
The students in Freeman’s Networked Music course at Georgia Tech (Andrew Beck, Xiang Cao, Mark Godfrey, Jagadeeswaran Jayaprakash, Al Matthews, Rachel Ponder, Alex Rae, and Sriram Viswanathan) are currently pursuing M.S. degrees in music technology, digital media, and human-computer interaction, and they have diverse backgrounds as composers and performers of experimental and popular music, as computer scientists, and as engineers. Over the course of the fall 2007 semester, they collaborated to develop the concept for “Flou”, to design its user interface, visual components, and sound worlds, and to write, test, and deploy the software. They are currently creating a live-performance version of the work for presentation in spring 2008.
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