Google Universal Orchestra

Google has an interesting lab project called Universal Orchestra. You can participate in live music making with others across the world. The lab is set up in London at the Science Museum where visitors to the museum and those on the internet can collaborate. To participate, you wait in a virtual line to play one of four percussion instruments and then you can select pitches and control rhythm for the different parts of the instrument. The controls are pretty intuitive and It runs in a loop, so you can change the pattern over time. You can try things out on virtual instruments while you wait to play the live ones. There are four additional instruments that can only be accessed by museum visitors. While the music is minimalist in nature, the number of instruments allows for a nice variation in the loops.

Google creates a video of your time with the orchestra; my first attempt is above. I missed the tactile aspect of making music, but I liked the intuitive collaboration with other performers. I think it could be a fun way for new musicians and non-musicians to participate in collaborative music making without worrying about hitting a "wrong" note. Give it a try! Google Universal Orchestra