Phil Thompson has created a music composition program called Venharis that's part game, part fractal music generator.
It brings new meaning to the term "playing" music.
PROFILE Name: Phil Thompson
...Other work: Phil Thompson works as a computer consultant for clients such as M&S, Reuters and NYNEX.He
also does graphic design work and music remixes.
says the idea for Venharis
came in part from his
dreams.Before Venharis, Thompson wrote Gingerbread, a program to generate fractal music.
describes the process of creating fractal music as an exploration, or a discovery.He
speaks of "exploring fractals" and "finding nice pieces of music."Similarly, figuring out how to use his
3D environment is also a process of discovery.
says that although he
deliberately designed the 3D environment to be unintimidating and child-like, underneath the graphics lies a very sophisticated music generator and composer.
Not in the traditional sense: Phil Thompson
doesn't sing or play an instrument.He
describes himself as a "musimatician" -- a play on words referring to the mathematical process of deriving fractal music.To generate only fractal music, you don't need any music theory at all.The interface takes a little getting used to, but Thompson
suggests that even children could use his
software, although he
adds that they may need supervision to understand some of the advanced features.And he
suggests that there are many other things that Venharis
can be used for."I'm only learning to use it myself," he
stated publicly that he
wasn't going to compose any more fractal music, he's
reneged -- he's
going to write a new album with Venharis
Can you win Venharis?The story revolves around the return of a prophesied messiah.According to Thompson
, "There is actually a way in the system where you can become the 'chosen one.' So there is kind of a way to win."He
wouldn't give any more details, except that there is an end sequence.