Generating More of My Favorite Aphex Twin Track

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“aisatsana” is the final track off Aphex Twin’s 2012 release, Syro. A departure from the synthy dance tunes which make up the majority of Aphex Twin’s catalog, aisatsana is quiet, calm, and perfect for listening to during activities which require concentration. But with a measly running time just shy of five and a half minutes, the track isn’t nearly long enough to sustain a session of reading or coding. Playing the track on repeat isn’t satisfactory; exact repetition becomes monotonous quickly. I wished there were an hour-long version of the track, or even better, some system which could generate an endless performance of the track without repetition. Since I build software for a living, I decided to try creating such a system.

If you’d like to try the experience before you read this whole article (although you should read the article), listen here. I’m sure you’ll agree that it sounds like “more aistsana” without being aistsana.

Spoiler: the secret is Markov chains of musical phrases.

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