April 26, 2016
Phasing is an interactive, visual/audio exploration of a musical idea by the same name.
The inspiration for the game comes by way of a piece called Piano Phase by the composer Steve Reich. In Piano Phase, two pianists play two identical 12-note melodies. One pianist starts to play faster than the other, causing their playing to go out of sync. As the two melodies drift out of phase with each other, the music seems to resolve into stable harmonic patterns, dissolve, and then resolve again into new patterns. I started to take the ideas of Piano Phase and put them into the context of software. I realized that with software I could animate the phasing process, which would go a long way toward making the piece intelligible to anyone. Then, I realized I could make the melody anything I wanted. The melody could be changed and what resulted would still work musically, as the process of phasing remained the same and held it all together. From that point on, making the game was a matter of passing these affordances, which had given me new insights into the music, on to the player.
- Create melodies with an editor that is accessible to non-musicians and musicians alike
- Collaborate with a game that transforms your creations
- Unlock dozens of ways of seeing music
- Explore an infinite space of music
Phasing Cycle 1 Vimeo
Phasing Cycle 3 Vimeo
Phasing Cycle 5 Vimeo
Logo & Icon
First Solo Performance of Piano Phase
This isn't my video, but it's an interesting introduction to the piece: youtube.com.
About James Morrow
I make video games and other things. I'm particularly interested in combining software, music, and creativity.
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Programming / Design