Ambient Chord is a string-driven ambient piece which has three overlapping sections: an introduction, middle and ending. This builds upon previous experiments (Interactive Kick and Rhythm Shift), and was created under the same breath. However, the major difference between Ambient Chord and its predecessors is the element of harmony; it has traded rhythmic intricacies for harmonic content and due to this change feels like a breath of fresh air. Where Rhythm Shift draws the player in to explore intricacies of rhythmic value, Ambient Chord aims at helping the player build a wall of suspended sound. Like some sort of audible mist rising in all directions and obscuring the players view, making them rely on hearing rather than sight.

The introduction is linear and offers no player input. Designed to introduce the piece in a melodic fashion before the player is allowed to interact. To a degree this introduction creates a linear path for the piece, however, the piece randomly loops back on itself which obscures this linear movement to a degree. Which direction does a static chord travel? Is it suspended, or does it travel vertically and horizontally simultaneously? Does it travel at all? Or is it still. On pause. Forever waiting for change?

For a moment let's contemplate a footstep as an example. When walking, the footstep has a linear direction, but the sound source created by foot to surface does not. Instead, it radiates in all directions simultaneously. The question arises: does this sound source still have direction due to the travel of the footstep? Or should footstep and sound source be contemplated separately? Once Ambient Chord begins to loop back on itself and the lines begin to blur, which direction is it travelling in? Or as stated above: is there no direction of travel at all? This idea is for the player to contemplate whilst experiencing Ambient Chord, as they shape their personal listening experience from within it.

To shape this experience the player is able to affect a range of volume sliders which manipulate various string sounds. The upper sliders affect violin and viola notes (harmonically a C Major scale from C5 to C6). The lower sliders adjust a range of notes in the lower octaves (cello & double bass). Harmonically these make up C Major triad and a D minor chord. After the sliders initial appearance, they stay visible and are active throughout. Any of the sliders can be adjusted once appeared.

I mentioned previously the idea for Ambient Chord builds upon Interactive Kick and Rhythm Shift; and the pieces/prototypes (however you wish to think of them), were created as platforms to explore player interactivity and UI design. When creating these works I envisioned a space of sorts, clean, white, blank. Much like a gallery space (set up to allow room for thought), these pieces are intended to be presented in a similar manner. A space for player exploration and contemplation with plenty of room for thought. The space should allow for privacy, not by boxing it in, but through the use of a single set of headphones connected to each piece. The aim here is to allow unencumbered expression with no obligation, pressure or expectation; only honest exploration.