Douglas Edric Stanley has developed ^3 (a.k.a. Cubed, a.k.a. 3), a musical sequencer integrated into a Rubik’s Cube®.

^3 can be played online (you’ll need Shockwave), but Douglas is looking to create an installtion where it is a physicalised version, with real live Cubes generating the musical sequences.

abstractmachine ^3 interface (online version)

abstractmachine ^3 interface (online version)

Douglas writes:

Like most of my interactive/musical instrument work, I’m working against the idea that a musician has to create music digitally — algorithmically — while sitting behind a laptop. The listeners should be given some hook to attach them to what the musician is doing: at least a videoprojection if we must generate behind a screen. What are they doing back there, playing iTunes? I’m also poking fun at the over-programmed nature of many of the current electronic tools that pass for high-tech instruments. For, trying to “program” a Rubik’s Cube, as anyone knows, is not an easy matter. So while one might be freed of the obscur interface (everyone understands a Rubik’s Cube), each permutation screws up permutations on the other faces, making the musical progression a true art to master.

The idea is that music is a live medium, and it should be possible for musicians to play digital algorithms with their hands.

Read Douglas’ blog post on abstractmachine for more information on how this machine works.

Link via Music Thing