Anyone familiar with the concept of live coding can appreciate Thor Magnussen’s contributions to it. Magnussen’s creation, the Threnoscope, is a program for creating and visualizing pieces of musical code. What makes the Threnoscope both practical and very fun is the ease with which its user can create, view, and change music within its interface. Watching Magnussen’s demonstrations, those familiar with Java-like syntax in interpreted language form can easily understand how he adds, modifies, and moves around the lines of code controlling moving shapes on a circular canvas (one that looks a bit like a polar graph, in mathematics). And it’s not just the code that’s changeable – he moves the shapes at will, too.
Curious? Watch Magnussen’s short demo video and read up on the Threnoscope in his paper from NIME.