Little Mouse

Eric Bridges

Little Mouse is not so much a piece of music as it is a set of conditions, which, when executed, congeal into a very particular group of aural patterns. Upon opening the application, users/listeners can determine the parameters of the music, including overall duration, the drone frequency, the speed of all of the internal elements, and the balance of all of these elements. As these parameters change, the overall effect changes in small but important ways: certain elements will only appear if the piece is a particular duration; elements that come in at random will come in more often or less often, and will stay for longer or shorter amounts of time. The two slow-moving lines will present themselves either as a melody and countermelody (when played quickly) or as sloth-like quasi-drones, heard only by their changing interactions with the truly static elements.

Little Mouse also explores the harmonic series; every interval is justly related to the drone, tuned as purely as physically possible. Because of this property, and because of the way that the brain interprets pitches related by the harmonic series, users/listeners can either focus tightly on notes as individual events, or listen more broadly as all of these notes begin to create the perception of a much lower, unheard note.

Little Mouse is named after a song, from the episode “Music” from the British comedy series “Look Around You”, written by a music composing machine. Little Mouse is a Max/MSP patch is available to download free of charge. All you need to do is run the application and it's ready to go!