Press the Play button to hear a composition by Hamlet.

Hamlet is an aleatoric composer/artist existing in the guise of a screensaver.

Aleatoric composition is a method of composition involving random numbers. Hamlet first composes a piece of music then plays the composition through your MIDI Interface or Sound Card. As it plays back the composition, Hamlet draws various geometric shapes and/or performs various bitmap operations to your screen. The size, shape, color, and movement of these graphic images are based upon the musical parameters of the composition. Upon completion of the composition, Hamlet clears the screen, composes another piece of music, and begins again.

The effect of this screensaver can be quite jarring. The music it creates is reminiscent of 20th Century Avant Garde composition. However, if you watch the screen as the music plays, you will be drawn to it as you see the interaction of music and image. The effect can be quite hypnotic.

Hamlet's composing engine is not completely random (although at first listen it is hard to believe). Hamlet creates musical movements and phrases that are repeated during the composition (much like the verse/chorus/bridge structure in Popular Music). Part of the fun consists of identifying these phrases and their repetition.

Click on the Download Link below that matches your version of Windows. Running the downloaded EXE file will automatically unzip the "HAMLET.SCR", "HAMLET.HLP", and "HAMLET.TXT" files into the appropriate Windows directory and Hamlet will show up in the list of screensavers found in the Display Control Panel of Windows95 (or the Desktop Control Panel of Windows3x).

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J.D. Haight