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jam2jam XO :: collaborative media performance software for OLPC

Jam2Jam XO was ACID's collaborative media performance software for the One Laptop Per Child [OLPC] computer.

About Jam2Jam XO

Jam2jam software made the OLPC XO laptop into a musical instrument. With Jam2jam XO, players could create and perform music and present images either on their own or synchronised with others, over the mesh network. In a Jam2Jam XO band each user played a different part, either bass, drums, guitar, or keyboards.

Jam2Jam XO used generative technologies so users could make choices about the musical activity in real time and influence changes in the music by moving a part icon up and down to alter the music in various ways. With Jam2jam XO you could be playing in a band within minutes and learn about musical concepts through playing collaboratively with others.

Jam2Jam XO on OLPC

Jam2Jam XO on the OLPC computer

Using Jam2Jam XO

Jam2jam could be used on one machine as a solo performance, or the activity could be shared so that up to 4 XOs can play together as a laptop band. An XO band could be expanded by adding a singer, guitarist or other musicians.

OLPC networks

Ways to use Jam2Jam XO on the OLPC computer

Jam solo or with up to 3 other OLPC computers as a band.

Suggestions for using Jam2JamXO
Solo Jam2Jam XO:
Improvise and practice a solo performance for 5 minutes that has the following stages: Introduction - Solo instrument section - Ending
Add a different photo during each section using the web cam
Give a solo concert to peers and teachers and record it on video
XO Laptop Band
In groups of 2-4 with each person taking an instrument, form a band and improvise for 5 minutes to familiarise yourself with the sounds and controls
Devise a 5 minute performance with an image of each performer on the web cam. Each performer should take a short 30 second solo returning to the head or ensemble performance after each solo
Devise an ending and beginning for your piece and practice it
Do a performance to friends and video it
Jam2Jam Technical Review
Jam2Jam XO was designed to be used as a collaborative instrument, allowing multiple players to participate in a 'Jam'.
Up to four jammers (one per instrument) were able to join a jam.
The algorithms used by Jam2Jam XO were independent of a particular musical style.
Jam2Jam XO was an activity (application) designed for use on the OLPC XO laptop running in the Sugar environment.
Features built in to the OLPC XO included audio playback, inbuilt camera, joystick controllers, and mesh networking capabilities.
Jam2Jam XO used generative algorithms to manipulate musical data read in from specially-composed MIDI files.
Jam2Jam XO also used Csound as a timer to schedule events in Python.
In addition to providing accurate timing for musical events, this also allowed for images captured by the camera to be displayed in time with the music.
The jam2jam XO software was designed and developed as part of the Network Jamming research project supported by the Australasian CRC for Interaction Design (ACID) in 2009.
project leader
Steve Dillon (Queensland University of Technology)
e sc.dillon@qut.edu.au
partners + collaborators
OLPC Australia

Jam2Jam XO crew

(L-R) Steve Dillon, Thorin Kerr and Andrew Brown

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