“Intelligent Street” Interactive Music

I’m just back from the UK launch of the Intelligent Street installation at University of Westminster’s Harrow Campus. I believe it should be running there for some time (months, or even a year) — though security is tight at the campus so it’s not easy just to drop in.
The concept is fairly simple: music is played in a public space and the people in that space can send one-word SMS commands via their phones, such as ‘dark,’ ‘cheesy,’ ‘energise,’ and the music adapts accordingly. The music is produced on four channels using SuperCollider, and it can adapt to combinations of up to ten commands at a time (so, using the commands given above, you hear music that is dark, cheesy, and energetic all at once).
Intelligent Street is probably best seen more as R&D than art, but as project team member Mark d’Inverno suggested to me, it could also have educational applications, such as drawing schoolchildren in to understanding what qualities in music make it dark, cheesy or energetic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *