No problem. With the amount of information we have a few clicks away, it’s impossible to maintain the naive belief that our ideas are original.
Having a look at the programmer’s website (ah, curiosity) I’ve discovered why the url sounded so familiar: He’s also the man behind whitney music box, a well known series of animations inspired by the work of john whitney, as described in his book Digital Harmony: On the Complementarity of Music and Visual Art. The post explaining the work is worth a look.
(on a deeper look, I’ve found more gems, such as the article Processing as a first language, as compared to flash, his processing gallery or the JSyd Java Synth)
Anyway, what I find particularly interesting is the exercise of trying to emulate in code art works which weren’t originally conceived for that. We know the construction rules (the score and/or the composer’s instructions) and the final result (the recording), so I see them as ideal programming practice problems.
Because of its main focus on processes rather than final products, I’d say that some art of the 60′s and 70′s is specially suitable for this task. We’ve talked about minimal composers (reich, glass, riley), but I’m also thinking of process art (see Casey Reas implementations of instructions by Sol Lewitt) or even John Cage (whom most famous work has been also versioned by Jim Bumgardner in justone line of chuck code: (4*60+33)::second => now) .
A couple of other examples:
- Piano phase after Steve Reich with source code in JMusic (Java)
- PD Repertory Project: Some live electronic music repertoire pieces in Pure Data (including works by Pierre Boulez, Steve Reich, Stockhausen and others)
- (Update) The Riley-o-matic by Daniel Iglesia, more In C (implemented in, well, C)
Do you know of more examples? Let me know in the comments.