The frantic pace of digital life has given birth to a music genre. It’s called “black MIDI”, because the visualization in a midi file– which can carry multiple channels of electronic information– is so packed with waveforms that it’s almost entirely blacked out. You end up with a pulsing electronic symphony so powerful that you have to go holy shit, technology.
“Blackers”, as the musicians in this genre call themselves, run files through downloadable educational software like Synesthesia, and add a fuckload of notes. The results are simply incredible. Take, for example, the song Bad Apple, by TheSuperMarioBros2, which reportedly uses 8.49 million separate notes. It’s frantic, but still maintains a compelling melody. If that’s not enough notes for you, Xinyu Qian AKA ICEwiimaker’s throws down a 21 million-note version of a track from the video game Touhou Project. According to Rhizome’s Michael Connor, she is the “queen of the note count.”