Mutant is a visually interactive compositional space of cross-platform musical experimentation and transformation – or messing about with sounds in cubes with your mates.
The name doesn’t really capture the essence of exploration and deep level engagement that this music generating and manipulating app offers. There’s something rather wonderful about drawing paths across complex cubes, rotating into different perspectives and intuiting your way through rhythmic pulses, melodies and soundscapes. You could lose yourself for hours and through the collaborative features take your friends along for the ride.
It uses a Tesseract function to generate and modulate variations of a composition and experience it from different places. The reality is that you poke at the wonderful looking interface with your fingers and see what occurs. Mutant contains 6 instruments: Drums, Percussion, Synth, String, Bass and Arp. For each sound you can control rhythmic pulses, envelope, filter and effects. As you tab and drag your fingers around all the movements trigger notes or drum sounds which are automatically recorded and looped back at you. As you dig in deeper you’ll find that you can define the notes in play, the tempo, pitch and other parameters active within the cube.
And then you somehow rotate the cube by dragging in the right place and it transforms and dopplers to a new perspective – it’s very intriguing. There’s something about being within the boundaries of a hypercube which redefines the characteristics of the musical environment. And it does just that!
The theory behind it is deep and complex and there’s lots of information on the website about the concepts and what’s going on.
Mutant is extremely absorbing and fascinating to both watch and listen to. I’d recommend using it on an iPad or PC as the phone version is a little bit small and difficult to read, but works nonetheless.
It’s available for iOS and Android for £3.99 and Windows (Steam) for £4.79.