I've written before about the incomparable Ge Wang, composer and computer scientist, who invented the Ocarina for your iPhone and now is taking it one step further with the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra. A Duke undergrad majoring in music and computer science, he's one of the students we consutled with when we created ISIS (our program in Information Science + Information Studies), the local prototype for what would become HASTAC a few years later. Ge went on to Princeton where he wrote some of the code for the Princeton Laptop Orchestra which, a few years later, then won a Digital Media and Learning Competition award.
Now Ge teaches at Stanford and here's the front page NY Times article about his incredible Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra, with a sample of the music too: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/05/technology/05orchestra.html?hp
From the earliest days of the iPhone, applications that mimic musical instruments have topped the download charts. But the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra, with its avant-garde compositions and electronic renditions of popular songs like Led Zeppelins Stairway to Heaven, is trying to push the frontiers of the four-decade-old field of computer music.
While computer music composers once spent hours programming giant mainframes to synthesize a single sound, advances in hardware and software have brought powerful and easy-to-use music tools to personal computers and now, to smartphones.
Ge Wang, the assistant professor of music who leads the two-year-old Stanford group, says the iPhone may be the first instrument electronic or acoustic that millions of people will carry in their pockets. I cant bring my guitar or my piano or my cello wherever I go, but I do have my iPhone at all times, he said.