Seaquence – Growin’ groove in a Petri dish

Seaquence is a freshly-launched iOS app by Okaynokay, that allows users to compose electronic music by spawning and shaping a Petry dish of rudimentary lifeforms. Opening to a 2D view of an aquatic environment, a sonar-like PING ripples outwards from an origin point across four nested concentric circles – both demarcating a territory and establishing a tempo. Pushing the lime green '+' button plunks a new creature into the mix, opening up a step sequencer on which you can swipe in strings of notes (and set their time signature relative to the master tempo) and watch the creature’s physiology shift accordingly in real time. Once its spawned, it will circle – quite literally tracing its loop.

“The metaphor for editing living organisms came from the aesthetics of the step sequencer – it's like editing a DNA sequence,” says Gabriel Dunne over email. Okaynokay is Dunne and Ryan Alexander and the iOS version of Seaquence has been gestating for a few years now, as an evolution of a Flash-based web app created by the duo (with Daniel Massey) within the Grey Area Foundation for the Arts very first residency. That app attracted a dedicated community and upwards of 300,000 compositions, and now Okaynokay have modernized its interface (using Cinder and Pure Data) and output capabilities on iOS.

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