Let a Thousand Audio Flowers Bloom

Having fun at Last.fm can create a bouquet of sound
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Having fun at Last.fm can create a bouquet of sound

Having a little fun over at the Last.fm Internet music service is a gentleman (or a group, it’s unclear) who is creating “Audio Flowers.”

The “flowers” are three-petaled and reminiscent of Rorschach blots, but in three colors. Or perhaps a very disciplined Abstract Expressionist artist.

The concept is that the flower’s petals map a song – with one color representing rhythm, another harmony and the third, timbre. The variations in these during the song draw the particular petal.

Matthias Mauch, the Last.fm blogger in charge explained: “We are currently doing some research into new techniques to measure structural change (or ‘complexity’) in rhythm, harmony and timbre directly from MP3 files. The measurements we take from a song are then summarized to produce a little image: an Audio Flower…”

The Audio Flowers project is ongoing and Last.fm listeners are encouraged to participate.