The 3D cards that power games are increasingly enabling new interfaces for music, merging the visual and aural realms. One of the most stunning experiments yet is the Fijuu, which just premiered in its second-generation form as a commission for Cybersonica sound art show in London. (Earlier versions have been seen around since 2004.) Fijuu lets visitors sculpt sound, then record the results on tracks, leaving sonic “footprints” as the sound creator describes them. The interface is entirely controlled by a standard PlayStation 2 controller, as shown in this screen grab.

It could be an isolated wonder, were it not for the entirely open source nature of the project. The code for Fijuu itself is open (though primarily as a model, as it’s built for this specific installation), and everything in it was creating with open source software, from Debian Linux to the phenomenal OGRE 3D engine that handles the 3D magic. Figuring out how music should translate to three dimensions, both in terms of visuals and interface, is no small problem. Open sourcing the results is essential if other artists are to take this idea and develop it further. In the meantime, Fijuu is incredibly gorgeous, which is why I’ve officially dubbed it “the hotness” on behalf of the CDM staff.

For more on Fijuu, see the official project page (with source), an interview with the creator in the Cybersonica video, and further discussion from Cybersonica’s curator, Chris O’Shea, at his blog, Pixelsumo.

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