Aleatoric music is music which is composed using an element of randomness. This style of music dates back to at least the 15h century and comes from the latin word for dice, which were used in 18th Century musical dice games. The American composer John Cage created aleatoric music composed from ancient Chinese methods of randomness known as the I Ching. Here we are taking a modern classic instrument, the Roland TR-808 and applying the Rubik's cube's 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 combinations as a source of randomization.
This experiment is a mash up of cultural icons popular in the 1980s, a spin on drum machine step sequencing, and a repurposing of the Rubik's cube for rhythm exploration.
To begin playing the 808 Cube click on one of the squares, which will become colored and play a drum sound at this designated step. Once you have a beat you can rotate the faces of the cube which will shuffle the drum beat as you would solve a Rubik's cube. Clicking the "shuffle" button in the nav will put the cube in shuffle mode, creating a continuously changing composition.
808 Cube is built for Google Chrome using CSS 3D and the Web Audio API. Drum sounds were recorded from a Roland TR-808 through various compression, effects and dynamics hardware.
The 808 Cube is part of Chrome Cube Lab and was built with some friends from Google and Ray McClure from Secret Feature.