I have a seed of an idea in my mind since some time ago, but I’m not able to transform it into reality.
So I’d like to share with others to see if someone could sort out something funny.
Here is the concept: is it possible to translate a Go game (a single match, say an SGF file) into music?
Well it certainly is. A dull way to do it is to name each intersection as a note and play them all in sequence according to game moves. But it should sound awful.
So let me reword it this way: is it possible to translate a Go game in some kind of appealing music?
Something that doesn’t sound like a crazy monkey hitting randomly on a keyboard?
I believe there are infinite ways to translate a sequence of moves on a board into sounds, but trying to organize them could bring to a solution that is both reasonable and meaningful.
My first thought was that the board is symmetrical in many ways (perpendicurlarly and diagonally). So mapping a 1/8 of the board could simplify the problem.
I don’t like the idea of having 361 different sounds to manage. 45 sounds much better.
Playing a 4-4 could have the same sound for all corners. And a joseki (let’s say an approach to 4-4) could sound the same if played from one side or the other. It could generate some acusticly recognizable pattern, perhaps.
Let me list some possible variables.
Envelope (changes over time, like “attack, decay, sustain, and release”)
Rhythm (tempo, beat)
Move’s position (coordinates, perhaps as distance from nearest borders, if we like the symmetry hypothesis)
Distance from hoshi
Colour of stone
This is a possible conversion map, trying to keep it simple:
- Pitch - Smaller distance from border (line, 10 possible values) -> Pentatonic scale (2 octaves) (I have a soul of a bluesman😎)
- Duration - Thinking time (if available)
- Loudness - Distance from hoshi -> The nearer the louder (and tengen could have a gong sound too )
- Voice - different instruments for Black and White
- Envelope - Capturing move causes fading sound for captured stones
- Envelope - Connecting move causes sliding sound for connected stones (???)
But more complex maps could be traced thinking about move’s meaning or strategy.
As an example: louder sound for important moves. (Well, how to recognize them? Maybe by subsequent opponent’s thinking time? Or by AI win rate changes?)
Special sounds for special points (hoshi, tengen)
Special sounds for particular moments (half game, smaller fractions)
And for those who love fractals, here is some inspiring thought to a different kind of mapping:
Eventually, how to make it?
I thought about software conversion from SGF (text) to Midi (hex format?). I can’t do it since I’m short of knowledge, but I believe that writing a simple Midi file shouldn’t be too tough for someone experienced with programming and midi structure.
So, is anybody interested in racking brainz and making some noize?