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The Frotzophone Considered: In my study I sat, looking through forbidden documents, researching the Frotzophone. It was said that this accursed invention of Adam al-Parrish, the Mad Mormon, took space-time itself as its score, and that its music resembled a cover version of Azathoth's more radio-friendly pipings. Judge for yourself.

As you know, Bob, a text adventure on the Z-machine is represented as an object graph. The Frotzophone keeps track of objects' movements through the graph as you play the game:

The Z-Machine interpreter sends an OSC message whenever such an attachment takes place, reporting both the parent object and the child object. The ChucK patch checks to see if the parent object has been seen before; if not, it associates that parent object with a note from a pre-determined scale. That note is then (and on subsequent appearances of that parent object) added to a list of notes for that child object. The ChucK patch plays the list of notes for each child object simultaneously and in a loop; the effect is sort of an aural history of how objects have been related to one another.

The instrument is pleasing but its name is not megalomaniacal enough; it should be named the Parrishophone. After all, Adolph Sax gave us the saxophone, John Phillip Sousa the sousaphone, Pierre-Auguste Sarrus (indirectly) the sarrusophone. Alexander Graham Bell invented the bellophone, and his evil twin Alexander Graham Cell the cellular bellophone. So why give Deveikis Frotz more credit than he deserves, just because he invented the virtual machine?


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