From learning electric guitar riffs as a teenager to creating a new computer language for audio applications as a graduate student at Princeton, Ge Wang *08 has explored music with creative vision and child-like curiosity, according to a recent feature in The New York Times Magazine by Rob Walker. Wang’s pioneering approach is manifested in the musical apps that his company, Smule, has developed for the iPhone and iPad, Walker writes:
“The common aim of Smule’s products is to prod nonmusicians into making music and to interact with others doing the same. There are singing apps like I Am T-Pain and Glee Karaoke, and digital versions of instruments like Magic Piano and Magic Fiddle. What connects these easy-to-use diversions to Wang’s more abstruse gear-tinkering is the exploration of expressive sound via technology: everyone can make music, he believes, and everyone should.”
Wang, an assistant professor at Stanford and the co-founder, chief technology officer, and chief creative officer of Smule, promotes the simple pleasure of making music. He was a driving force behind the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, or PLOrk, and founded two computer music ensembles at Stanford.
Wang also uses his music apps to enable unique social collaboration. For example, more than 3,800 users of Glee Karaoke have contributed their voices to a version of “Lean on Me,” created to support victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. In less than four years, users have shared a staggering 126 million songs using Smule apps, according to the company’s website.
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