Koan is an electronic music standard. And this represents a fascinating technology developed by the British company SSEYO. Koan requires the addition of a plug-in to your browser to enable playing the files. Koan music is written to designated sound cards. The Sound Blaster AWE is the best as far as I know. I just have an ordinary Sound Blaster 16, and there is also a lot of good Koan music for that.
Koan is "live" music - it changes every time you play it. You can compare it with an aeolian harp, where the wind and thus the tone is different each time it is used.
"I too think it's possible that our grandchildren will look at us in wonder and say:
You mean you used to listen to exactly the same thing over and over again?
Brian Eno 1996
The Koan music consist of small files, which start a process in the PC where they work. There may be 8 hours of music in a 12 KB file! So it is not the music itself which is contained in the file. Rather the files contain some structures, frames if you wish, about a composition. These frames are activated in your PC's math processor. Then the music is generated within your PC, differently each time you play it.
Then you ought to try some Koan software. It is really simple to install and requires only a little space.
My installation example is based on software for Sound Blaster 16 and Netscape in 32 bit Windows 95 edition (Netscape Gold, version 3 or 4). It may sound complicated as I describe it. However it is really quite simple:
You want to install SSEYO software, so you can play the small SKP files with exciting music. First get the following: 32 bit Koan Software for Windows 95, and SB16 . You have to find the file on SSEYO home page. New versions arrive all the time.
It is a self extracting Exe file about 300 KB big, which you place in some temporary folder. That file will be deleted after installation. Run the file (it is called knp1032.exe), which will install the necessary plug-in in Netscape.
Now you can go on the net and for example retrieve the starter package on the same server, which includes some SKP files. Each of those represents hours of electronic music.
The best result is obtained with a AWE64 sound card and a pair of good speakers. I purchased a set of Altec Lansing ASC45. They are two tiny satellites with a heavy sub woofer, and giving fantastic sound - that is hi-fi!
You save your Koan files in a folder (in my computer: \web\music). Then, in Netscape, you press Control+o (for open ). Now you have to modify the file type, to activate the filter:
Now you just select the melody, and Netscape will play it. You need not be on the Internet, you just use the browser to play the music. The music can run in the background all day, while you do something else.
If the SKP files are associated with Netscape, you can play them directly by double clicking on them.
At the SSEYO Koan home page you can find plugins, tunes and information, including software to let you write your own Koan music.
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Copyright (c) 1996-2005 by Michael B. Karbo. www.karbosguide.com.