Daisyphone is a collaborative, distributed musical instrument focussing on short loops.
This work aims to develop an environment in which novices can easily grasp the looping nature of the music they are producing. We judged that compared to linear representations, circles provide the most obvious representation of the cyclical nature of looping music. Circular representations of music can be seen in developments of music boxes, player pianos, and other musical machines from the 1880s onwards.
The design of Daisyphone combines a circular representation of music with a moving play head. Notes are arranged in sequence around the circle, and the play head rotates around the circle playing the notes underneath it.
In Daisyphone graphical annotation is continuous and persistent – whenever the player presses their mouse button, or touches their pen to the tablet, a graphical mark is made in the players’ hue and shared with others. This means that players can easily add comments, and some notion of the history of the interaction is maintained. Also, this is intended to provide a more ‘messy’ interface than usual with group music devices in an attempt to encourage exploration, fun, and contextualization.