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Paint a Symphony

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bills itself as an "interactive music experience that uses the history of the web as your personal paintbrush." Before I tried it out with Internet Explorer 9, I had no idea what that meant, or how cool it could be.

Here's what happens: After you click the "Create now" button on the project home page, you're provided with an empty black canvas (which will turn out to be just part of a larger composition), while the smooth beats of "Already Got Me Sold" by Ming kick off in the background. Just move your mouse around, and a random selection of images, all tied to famous Web phenomena, will bloom on the canvas in response. (There are hundreds of these images, including a dancing baby, the original "Under Construction" graphic, "B1FF," the Shockwave logo, "O RLY?," and other references to delight the old-timers.) In effect, you're conducting the creation, over 4 minutes and 24 seconds, of a serendipitous artwork set to the rhythm of the music. It's a hypnotic experience.

The site, created by Big Spaceship, uses a wide range of new Web technologies and techniques to make Always Beautiful unfold so beautifully. As with other sites that make users into artists, it makes extensive use of HTML5's interactive Canvas element, which is like a frame for creating and displaying graphics on the fly. And now that audio clips can be integrated directly into a Web page through HTML5's audio element, it's possible to synchronize those graphic effects to a soundtrack. All of it is orchestrated here using Scalable Vector Graphics technology, the important part of which is "scalable." You can download your creation as an SVG file, which will allow you to print it at high-resolution or create a low-res version for online use if you've got a graphics application that supports the format. And in every case, your art will remain high-quality.

This story, "Paint a Symphony " was originally published by BrandPost.