RjDj: your life’s soundtrack, remixed

I am so hooked on this iPhone app RjDj. While it’s author has a hard time explaining exactly what the app does, it basically takes in the sounds from your iPhone’s headset microphone, treats them like samples and mixes and loops them back. It doesn’t seem to have a set pattern and doesn’t try to create any particular song, but it’s fascinating. Listening to it on the way to work, the sounds of the metro, and passengers and the station announcements and the bing-bong! chimes of the doors are all transformed into an almost meditative mix. From the site:

RjDj is promoting a music genre that we call “reactive”. The sound that listeners hear is produced by digital devices in the very moment it is listened to. Composers of reactive music often make heavy use of sensory input, which makes the environment of the listener part of the music that is heard.

I have it on now at the office, and the sounds of my typing this entry are being taken in and sent back to me in a manner than sounds very much like a rain stick. It’s lovely! Conversations that would normally work my last nerve, annoying cell phone rings… Even the constant deep bass of a Windows error tone that, even though it’s signaling the user that they’re doing something wrong, the user persists in doing it anyway? It’s all coming in as lovely background noise.

One of the best parts is that unlike when I have my headphones in and listening to music, this lets me remain somewhat aware of what’s happening around me, so long as the microphone has decent pickup. I can also record my own “scenes” for later playback. But the absolute best part is that a limited version of the application is free in the Apple iTunes Store. I am all about the free apps and the free lite-versions, since there are no refunds from the store if you buy an app you end up hating. Oddly enough the only thing I haven’t listened to through RjDj is actual music. That’d likely be triple-trippy, but fun!

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