It’s rare that I get excited about artsy experimental web projects, but InbFlat – a collaborative YouTube music project conceived by Darren Solomon and developed with contributions from users – is one of the most interesting projects I’ve seen recently, and possibly the most relaxing too. The site is essentially a collage of 20 YouTube videos featuring music recorded in the B flat key. There’s no melody to speak of, and the entire experience is extremely soothing. Users can click on the videos they want to start playing – in any orders they like and each video works well with every other video. I’ve tried dozens of combinations, and none of them sounded jarring.
I find this project interesting from a music consumers perspective, because it’s not as passive as simply listening to a song. Though I’m not playing any of the instruments, I do get to choose the volume and sequence of each of them if I so choose. If I’m in the mood for a more randomized experience, a helpful contributor created a Buddha Machine version that starts the videos in a random sequence for you, instead of you having to choose the order. I find this useful for when I’m planning to work for a long stretch of time and simply want the music to loop. With the original version, the videos do end and don’t restart, meaning that you’ll have to start new ones by hand every so often.
When I’m writing, I’m almost always listening to music. Music helps me feel more creative, more energized, and when I want it, more relaxed too. I’m glad that creative people are coming up with novel projects like InbFlat to accommodate all sorts of listening experiences. There are times when I enjoy this a hell of a lot more than listening to the same songs over and over.