In 1986 Tim Cole had the idea for what would become Koan. It was a hand-held device that would generate subtle and continuous, ever-changing “context sensitive” music, either under the direct control of an artist and/or responding to environmental inputs.
In 1990 Tim, joined by Jon Pettigrew, founded SSEYO. Peter Cole, the Koan Music Engine architect, joined the company as Technical Director during its first year. The crucial component turned out to be the real-time “content engine” that would need to collate the inputs and create an integrated and coherent output. Hence arose the Koan Music Engine (an “integrator”), which, from sets of rules and parameters, created continuously generated music (generative music). As Koan was a real-time music engine that could additionally be externally directed, it was also capable of generating music that was continually morphing from one space / shape to the next, an extra behaviour which SSEYO termed “intermorphic”.
By 1994 SSEYO had started trading with the release of the Koan music player “Koan Plus”, soon followed by the first version of Koan Pro in 1995. By 1996 Koan had become the first European-developed plugin for Netscape and SSEYO had published Brian Eno's seminal Generative Music 1, and Tim Didymus’ Float.
From 2000 to 2002, SSEYO’s primary focus was in developing audio frameworks for mobile devices, to provide the necessary foundation for an open environment for music engines and sound generators.
Following a successful merger with Tao Group in 2002, and the integration of its audio technologies and frameworks into the intent Sound System (announced July 2003), the original dream is close to fruition!
Tao Group: http://www.tao-group.com
intent Sound System (iSS): http://withintent.biz/index2.php?Cat=4&AntX=67
iSS Technical documentation: http://www.sseyo.com/tao_group/ave/iss/api.html
Koan Generative Music Engine: http://www.sseyo.com/koan/koanVectorAudio_GenerativeMusic.html