Mathematics, Music, Web Design

Magic Circle of Fifths

Magic Circle analyzes your piano play and instantly shows what notes and chords you are playing. Use it for improvisation, composition or fun.

DOWNLOAD Magic Circle for Mac OSX (2603) | | Magic Circle for Windows (5448) source code Magic Circle source code (4138)

Over the past weeks I have been working on an Processing sketch that helps you to play piano by giving you insight in what you are playing. It is based on the idea of the Circle of Fifths.

Show me!

A friend of mine, Freek de Graaf is a lot better at playing the piano so I conveniently used one of his arrangement to demonstrate the awesomeness of Magic Circle. Thanx Freek :)

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Design, Movement

Machine Choreography

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Design, Web Design

Room for breathing

Reading this insightful article on space in web design, I came across this inspiring start of a methodology for deciding what should be on a page and what should be left out:

Currently when a website is ‘optimised’ for mobile, iPhone and now, iPad, it’s slimmed down to its bare-bones — the essence of what makes it what makes it it. In these formats space is particularly valuable because there’s less of it. Normally these ‘lite’ formats are afterthoughts. We should be designing backwards from these formats, not the other way round.

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via @smashingmag

Mathematics, Origami

Origami in Nature

Can I represent this in paper?

origami in pollen

Pollen Origami Key to Plant Sex


Manic Music Sunday: Röyksopp

I don’t quite know where I am, but I am definitely not standing with my feet on the ground.

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Sharing screen madness

Sharing screens in Skype is a useful feature, and you might even find some interesting side-effects from abusing it by making a screen shot of the shared screen, send it to the other and make a screenshot of him showing it and sending that, ad infinitum. You get the idea, a video feedback loop – bit of a convoluted way to do it, but who cares?

Anyway, notice the colour change towards yellow? Who is stealing my blue?!

Video Feedback, the easiest way to create fractals!

Design, Music

Tetsu Kondo and his instruments

The past Sunday I visited Upgrade! #7 in Eindhoven. This event is part of a larger network that aims to bring technology and art together and give exposure to artists/designers/engineers/anyone really who aims to combine these in their work.

That night the stage was set for Tetsu Kondo, a Japanse artist in residence at MAD Eindhoven. He has spend over 10 years building his own instruments, both analog and digital. Read more…

Mathematics, Music

Why does our musical scale have twelve notes?

So you see, by getting into all that Jazz music, I do notice that my knowledge about music theory is a bit sketchy. I especially have trouble counting quickly between different tones. I need this to figure out how to form a chord.

Say, I want to C Major chord. I know that I need the Prime, Major Third and Major Fifth for that. I just learned that to be C, E and G. I can recall this pretty quickly now, but that’s only because I have memorized the combination of root note and interval.

When I want to do the same thing in A# I start getting in trouble, because I don’t have a list for that in my head. This thing just doesn’t scale up! (and I’m lazy) There has to be some other way of doing these calculations quickly and use it as a basis for improvisation?

My strategy at the moment is trying to use semitones and give them numbers. That way, I can use my primary school algebra to get me my numbers. Afterward I will convert them back into notes. Let’s see how that should work:

Music notes table

An overview of all the notes in the twelve-tone scale

We have to memorize this table and then we can use it to calculate chords more easily.

Hmm, this sounds like a good task for this week.

During my search to better understand music, I came across an interesting article. I mean, why are there 12 notes in our scale anyway? Turns out, there seems to be a curious mathematical coincidence has given us a scale that is not perfect, but (apparently) as good as it gets. Check it out:

Twelve-Tone Musical Scale

“More musings on music theory my man!”, you say. Well, more will surely follow.


There is plenty of room at the bottom

A historical talk by Richard Feinman which would eventually lead us into the field of nanotechnology.

A transcript of Richard Feinman’s talk


Design, Mathematics, Web Design

Testing out Elise

I have been working on a nice little program called Elise in my spare time. You can use it to create beautiful fractals. Take this for example:

Stay tuned for more experiments while I try to get this code creature through alpha stage :) .