Amen: Algorithmic Composition and GUI design, Ziad Khouri and Daniel Lopez

Thursday 23rd of August, 7pm.

Our presentation will chronicle the evolution of ZS-1 Amen. Originally written by Ziad in 1995, Amen started as GUI design experiment. In 1995 most music software was written to emulate existing hardware. Ziad’s aim was to start with a prevalent compositional technique, then design software around it.

The compositional technique chosen was the beat making popularised by the Drum and Bass genre. Here drum loops are chopped into smaller parts and resequenced. Originally this was a laborious process as there was no dedicated software for it. Amen was designed to remedy this.


Algorithmic composition is a major part of Amen. In our presentation Ziad will explain the motivation for and approach behind this functionality. Algorithmic composition is also a great catalyst for experimentation and can produce some very surprising results.

Amen was left in the public domain. Several years later the project was continued up by Daniel. Amen was redesigned and rewritten for the Nintendo DS.

The Nintendo DS inspired a generation of audio hackers. Daniel was one of those hackers. He re-imagined Amem,┬áreworking the GUI to take advantage of the DS’s unusual hardware configuration. Notably the touch screen.

Daniel will walk through his realtime-focused changes partly by way of a new Flash version made specially for this demonstration, while possibly getting sidetracked into filling the room with funky beats for short bursts of time.

Ziad Khouri and Daniel Lopez

Links:,topic27807.html (in French)

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Adam Williams
11 years ago

For those of us with flash cartridges for our Nintendo DS consoles, is this program going to be available anywhere? I would have loved to have made it for the presentation but was unfortunately moving house that day! How far along is the Nintendo DS port?

See you soon guys!

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