Percussa micro super signal processor

Our blog buddy Matrix just sent this one: how do you create music that embodies an operating system? On our bad computer days, I suppose that would involve crashing death metal and lots of expletives. Let me rephrase that: how do you create music that embodies Windows Vista when Microsoft has hired you? Legendary guitarist Robert Fripp (founder of King Crimson) is creating music for the upcoming Windows upgrade. An MSDN Channel 9 camera, led by Charles Torre, got into the studio to watch exchanges like this one:

“Why don’t you build up a 5 to 7 minute loop — you find the theme, the texture, the context that goes back to . . . the idea that Vista embodies the Aero principles. It’s clear, confident, and connected.”


[Fripp interrupts] “And there’s plenty of green and blue.”


He’s not kidding, either: D and E make green and blue, according to Fripp. We didn’t get to watch Eno in the studio creating the iconic Windows sounds (ironically, on a Mac), but at least we get to watch this master guitarist creating some pretty cool landscapes. And hey, why not make a musical score for the dominant computer platform on Earth?

Check out the full video at Channel 9. (Warning: hypnotic soundscape, adjusted painstakingly in Pro Tools over the course of 20 minutes, will most likely leave you sound asleep.)


Via Scobleizer, where you’ll note the person responsible is none other than Steve Ball, the engineer of Microsoft’s new A/V group for Vista who’s working on the new Audio Stack. Word is we’ll see some very cool new audio features, somewhere along the lines of Mac OS X’s Core Audio. (More on that soon.) So for those of us who are likely to turn OFF this startup sound after the first install, the good news is Vista will appeal to serious computer musicians, too. It’s nice to see musicians again infiltrating the ranks of software developers; Ball apprenticed with Fripp.


Now let’s just hope Vista works as well as it sounds. If not, maybe Microsoft will release a CD and we’ll all go bliss out in a field somewhere. Fripp worked with Eno, and Microsoft is actually tying together the musical themes of Windows95, XP, and now Vista. It’s kinda like Wagner’s Ring Cycle — oh wait, that didn’t end happy, did it? (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)


For more on tiny music, from the Windows95 theme to the Mac chime to the THX and Intel sounds, don’t miss Music thing’s brilliant Tiny Music Makers roundup from May of last year.


Hint to Microsoft: you may want to hire CDM’s readers next, based on the entries to our 1-second music festival.