Sona iPad App ECAL/Ruslan Gaynutdinov from ECAL on Vimeo.

Like animated graphic scores, software interface is becoming a palette for musical experimentation. Sona is latest, beautiful combination of interface design, musical composition and visualization, and ambient instrument. You’ve seen works like this before, naturally, but this one – recalling the off-the-grid patterns of ambient master Brian Eno – is especially nicely executed. It also illustrates a point: this kind of work is now routinely done as a student project, but then distributed to the world, not only confined to thesis reports or conferences.

This also goes a long way to making the musical game “Simon” a heck of a lot more fluid.

The details:

Tutors: Alain Bellet, Gael Hugo, Christophe Guignard
ECAL / University of Art and Design, Lausanne Switzerland
Bachelor Media & Interaction Design +
During the first half of 3rd year at ECAL, I made an installation project based on the visualization of sound. I am interested in how the spectator is immersed in the interactive piece in the presence of this element. I decided to continue my research on the themes of sound and atmosphere.
Sona is an experimental game on iPad inspired by the classic “Simon game.” The universe is composed of enigmatic sound paintings that the spectator must solve through simple interactions. The game is played with headphones to focus attention on the sound.
This project allowed me to study in detail the acoustic phenomena and how we store and perceive sounds. The immersion and sound have become essential elements for me in an interactive project.

I could try to compile a list of similar apps, but I suspect the collective wisdom of our readership far exceeds my own. So, commenters – what alternative interfaces have been your favorites?

(By the way, this particular find comes by way of friends on our Pinterest board, which has become a fun way of researching additional stories and visual concepts. Do come say hi – or try the new Pin It buttons on our stories.)