23 November 2005

Pandora.com on the Tree of Life

the Tree of Life

we looked for visualisations of
any lifebranch's
virtual soundtrack

but found only
because the musical and visual toolkits
are constrained
by archaic invented instruments

pays musicians to characterise songs
using a set of tags
that could theoretically be assigned
by an AI
('quality' is entirely omitted
as subjective)

"modal harmonies"
"chordal patterning"
"melodic part-writing"
"rhythmic syncopation"
"major/minor/mixed key tonality"
"repetitive/meandering melodic phrasing"
"extensive vamping"
"acoustic/synthetic sonority"
"light swing groove"

in listening to the 'radio channels'
generated by subsets of these tags

one notices that genius doesn't rate

kate-bush-ness isn't touched by them

the tags tend to cluster tunes
recorded during the same era

with LP 'filler' more frequent than

and often the dominant mood
can also be undercut

eg trip-hop is 'tag-similar'
to many other possible moods