“Processing is an open source programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) built for the electronic arts, new media art, and visual design communities with the purpose of teaching the fundamentals of computer programming in a visual context…The language builds on the Java language, but uses a simplified syntax…” said Wikipedia.
Just finished, “Getting Started with Processing,” by Ben Fry and Casey Reas (the creators of the program). I thought I would get through it in a week, but it took 4. It was only 190 pages, it doesn’t look like much, but when each page takes 15–30 minutes, well…it takes a while. It is not often I decide I am going to learn something by reading a book (or manual) cover to cover. The plus-side included working at my own pace and being able to look over every step until I really got the information. The down-side included, falling asleep uncontrollably every time more than a page of text went by without an exercise to engage me, lucky there was a sketch on almost every page. I’ve done the math, I passed out on average once every 15 pages.
Video: Murmur — From sound to light, by Talking to Walls
The language was created primarily for visual artist, but there is a sound library in Processing called minim. I’ve been poking around online looking for ways that composers are working with Processing. It has been a challenge to find any compositional musical based work (if you know of any, please share), although it seems like there are quite a few mixed media artist using Processing to include a sonic component and lots of people using a mixture of Max and Processing.
The following two sounds based projects are my two favorites created using Processing.
This is a piece by Josh Nimoy called Ball Droppings. Make sure the volume is up. Draw lines on the black screen to bounce the balls.
This is a piece by Georg Reil and Kathy Scheuring called Fine Collection of Curious Sound Objects.