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Generative Music

AKA 'Ambient Generative Music' or 'Generative Ambient Music'

See also Generative Music+, InMo Music, Reflective Music, Text-to-Music & Mindful Music

Devices showing Wotja UI

For: Phone, Tablet, Laptop, Desktop, TV, Watch; OS: iOS, iPadOS, macOS, Windows, Android, tvOS, Android/Fire TV, watchOS; Bundle: AUv3/VST3 Host + AUv3/VST3 Plug-in

History of the term "Generative Music"

In 1995 whilst working with SSEYO Koan Pro, Brian Eno coined the term "Generative Music" to describe any music that is ever-different & changing, created by a system.

SSEYO Koan was developed by us, the Cole Brothers, who now develop Wotja, its evolution.

Before 1995 we had been referring to the output of SSEYO Koan as 'Koan Music', but 'Generative Music' is a more generic term. We were therefore happy about Eno choosing that to be used as a descriptor for his release "Generative Music 1 - with SSEYO Koan".

These days 'Generative music' is really a catch-all term for lots of things and is sometimes also referred to as algorithmic music, stochastic music or aleatoric music - all terms for something created by chance. 'Generative AI' music is something altogether different (see Wotja and Generative Music)...

When it comes to Wotja, we increasingly use the term 'Ambient Generative Music' as we understand Wotja's generative capabilities are most often used to generate music of an ambient nature. See also Generative Music+.

We also use terms like InMo Music, Reflective Music, Text-to-Music, Mindful Music etc.

Anyhow, let's take a quick journey, and go back in time. Cast your mind way, way back to 1996. Remember that? Back then we would hear people say "the Internet is only a fad", and "it will never take off". At that time computers mostly had pretty low fidelity sound cards, and generative music was a niche area (as is even the case now). So, you can imagine how honored we felt when an artist of Eno's stature took up the gauntlet and used Koan at the core of "Generative Music 1 - with SSEYO Koan".

What he then said about generative music was eloquent and well observed and is still relevant today, so read what he said about it on the back of that release.

See also the Sparks In Electric Jelly review of the Oramics exhibition at the British Science Museum with mentions of Generative Music 1 and SSEYO Koan Pro, and see the UK Science Museum Group copy!

At the core of SSEYO Koan was the SSEYO Koan Music Engine (SKME). It was developed by us, Tim Cole & Pete Cole of Intermorphic (see also Credits). The SKME later evolved into the Noatikl Music Engine 3 (NME 3) and then that, in turn, evolved into the Wotja Music Engine (WME), all developed by us.

So, going back in history, the SKME was our first real-time music generation system. We started work on it in 1990 and the first publicly released app to use it hit the market in 1994, this being SSEYO Koan Plus (but we had versions out with Beta testers as far back as 1992).

In 1995 Brian Eno (coiner of the term Generative Music) started working with SSEYO Koan Pro, work which led to the 1996 publication of his seminal title Generative Music 1 with SSEYO Koan Software.

SSEYO to Intermorphic App Consolidation Schematic

Fast forwarding in time, in 2007 we then evolved SSEYO Koan into what became Intermorphic Noatikl (for more background on what happened between 1996 and 2007 see SSEYO History, SSEYO Before Tao, SSEYO after Tao).

In 2017 we evolved Noatikl (and Mixtikl, Liptikl & Tiklbox) into one consolidated app range called Wotja. For more on this and thinking behind it, read the in depth PalmSounds interview with Tim Cole.

Luckily for researchers, Eno's early relationship with SSEYO Koan and Intermorphic co-founder Tim Cole was captured and published in his 1995 diary "A Year with Swollen Appendices".

At Intermorphic, we can talk with experience about two generative music engines (actually, music AND sound engines):

Why Generative Music?

Many people find generative music systems to be incredibly interesting. Musicians to academics enjoy using them, and creating with them. They can generate some completely unexpected, but wonderful, results.

You might think that generative music, being generated by a system, would always sound formulaic and impersonal.

What you find, instead, is that artists using their skill and judgment with parameter configurations, sound design and other choices can impose their own personality on the output, providing rich rewards for listeners through unique and live experiences.

How to make Generative Music?

It's simple, and you can be making it, for free, in seconds with Wotja!

  • Download Wotja (the free version for your platform, e.g. for iOS, macOS, Windows, Android) and install it as necessary.
  • See the Play a Flow tutorial, or:
    • Launch the app, select the Flow tab (one of 3 main tabs in the Documents Screen) and then tap on any of the Flow Randomization Scheme icons.
    • Wotja will then start creating a succession of automatically generated generative music mixes for you to enjoy - it really is that easy to get going.

Wotja and Generative Music

Wotja does NOT use 'Generative AI' to mine human data, knowledge and preferences. Instead it uses chance, heuristics and sometimes patterns to generate totally 'fresh' music that YOUR MIND contextualises and interprets. As you can edit anything you want in Wotja you can customise what it generates according to your own skill, judgement and taste. Wotja music is therefore akin to cleansing musical rain, which makes it great for relaxation etc.

You can of course create the simplest form of generative music from random shuffling of pre-composed/pre-recorded elements, but most people think of it as some form of live-generated music.

Music Engine

Assuming you want to get a bit more interesting and granular, you need to use a music engine to real-time compose & generate the musical notes used. Such an engine will use a range of musical parameters to compose its live (generally MIDI) notes, meaning that if you change the parameters the ensuing composition will change, too.

In the case of Wotja, this engine is called the Wotja Music Engine (WME), and it uses a combination of AI techniques & heuristics crafted and honed over 30+ years. At the core of its operation are a key set of Rules.

Audio/Sound Engine

There is another important factor for composed Generative Music however, and that is that the notes need to be turned into sound via some kind of audio/sound generator. There are many, many sound units and FX units that can be driven by MIDI.

In the case of Wotja, it has an (optional) integral audio/sound engine, the Wotja Audio Engine (WAE), with a range of sound generators and FX.

What is Wotja Music?

Generative Music+

Generative Music is an art form. What do you call an art form when it goes to the next level?

For example, what do you call Generative Music when it can include and use other media such as text and images, and use techniques as as Text to Music and Text to Speech?

And, what if the "art experience" is generated using a totally unique & bespoke assembly of engines (music, audio, script) and generation techniques?

We think there is a strong case to refer to such a unique generative art form & experience by the name of the system that creates it. In the case of Wotja, this means using Wotja Music as the term used to describe what it generates:

Whether Wotja Music is e.g. ambient or experimental, auto-mixing or adaptive etc. purely depends on how the Wotja mix is designed.

Wotja Music is easily generated using Wotja App & Wotja AUv3/VST3 Plug-in software.

Tip: If you require live music for your next installation, why not use Wotja Music? See: Live Use.

Example Recordings

Below are recordings of mix files that were exported from the Flow Player and then recorded. The mix files are generally multi-cell so they evolve over time - that means a 3 min recording does not reall do them justice! There were no 3rd party plug-ins used and no post-recording FX applied.

Tip 1: The best way to hear the results that Wotja can generate is simply to get Wotja (it's free). Once installed, just one tap on a Schema is all that is needed to start playing a 'Flow' in the Flow Player. See the tutorial for Play a 'Flow'.

Tip 2: It's easy to download/play the mix file used for the recording (where provided). See B) here on how to play it in Wotja. See also

Wotja 23 Schemas ('Flows') [Ambient] Recording (3 min, MP3) Mix File
Drones 2 - 1 Wotja 23 Mix
Drones 2 - 2 Wotja 23 Mix
Drones 2 - 3 Wotja 23 Mix
Drones 2 - 4 Wotja 23 Mix
Drones 2 - 5 Wotja 23 Mix
Drones 2 - 6 Wotja 23 Mix
Drones 2 - 7 Wotja 23 Mix
Environments 1 - 1 Wotja 23 Mix
Environments 1 - 2 Wotja 23 Mix
Environments 1 - 3 Wotja 23 Mix
Environments 1 - 4 Wotja 23 Mix
Environments 1 - 5 Wotja 23 Mix
Environments 1 - 6 Wotja 23 Mix
Environments 1 - 7 Wotja 23 Mix
Wotja 22 Flows [Ambient] Recording (5 Mb, MP3) Mix File
Mixed 1 - 1 Wotja 22 Mix
Mixed 1 - 2 Wotja 22 Mix
Mixed 1 - 3 Wotja 22 Mix
Mixed 1 - 4 Wotja 22 Mix
Mixed 1 - 5 Wotja 22 Mix
Mixed 1 - 6 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Pads - 1 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Pads - 2 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Pads - 3 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Pads - 4 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Pads - 5 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Pads - 6 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Piano - 1 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Piano - 2 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Piano - 3 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Strings - 1 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Strings - 2 Wotja 22 Mix
Only Strings - 3 Wotja 22 Mix
Mixes [Other] Recording (5 Mb, MP3) Mix File
JADITO [robot chit chat]
['How To' Video]
Wotja Mix

Share Wotja Music


One of the most rewarding things about Wotja is sharing with others what you have done, be that recordings of Wotja or even your Wotja Mix and Album files.

We provide four different ways for you to share both Wotja Mixes and Albums. This is so that you can let others can see, explore and play with what you have done. Maybe you want to share your Wotja Mixes for the purposes of collaboration? Maybe you want others to listen live to your Wotja Albums (Lite mode users can play any Album for 10 mins).

There are 4 main types of Wotja files (see the first 4 filetypes: Mix, Template, Album and Schema):

Important: Always assume that the latest version of Wotja is required to correctly import/open/play a Wotja file or WJURL! If you have multiple versions of Wotja installed then first delete or archive the old ones.

Advanced: If your Wotja file or WJURL references content in an add-on Pak then, provided that Pak is located in the Wotja folder on your listener's device then it will play as expected.

Share as Email Attachment


  • Just attach the Wotja file to your email, as you would attach any file.


  1. Tap on the Wotja file attachment.
  2. Open the file:
    • iOS:
      • From the pop-up action sheet select Wotja and it should then open in Wotja.
    • Other OS:
      • Save the file attachment to your Wotja Folder.
      • THEN open Wotja, Documents screen > Action > Refresh, select the segment for that filetype and tap the file to open it.
      • Pro FS only:
        • All OS variants: No need to first save the file attachment, just double tap on it to open in Wotja!
        • Alt macOS: Right click on it; Select "Open With..."; Choose Wotja.

Share as Web File

Web File Examples: Mix file , Album file , Template file and Schema file

Note: W23.5+ is required for the revised File extensions below.


  • Wotja files can be shared via a web page download link (see example downloads below) provided they have first been manually renamed to have the required SSEYO Koan MIME Type (i.e. .SKM, .SKP, .SKD or .SKT), i.e. a Wotja Web file - see Wotja Web file extensions.
  • Simply manually change the file extension from e.g. mywotja.wotja to mywotja.skd.
    • Tip: These renamed files can also be directly opened and resaved in Wotja, too.
  • Upload that .skd file to your website
  • Link to it in a webpage as e.g. <a href="mywotja.skd">Name of your file</a>.
  • Historical: The above MIME types were registered by SSEYO way back in 1996 which means they are supported as standard on pretty well any web server.
  • Historical: We still use them today because Wotja is the evolution of SSEYO Koan and it can directly open (and play!) SSEYO Koan .SKD and .SKT files (the SSEYO Koan .SKM and .SKP are now re-used for different Wotja file types as outlined in Filetypes). See also: SSEYO Koan FAQ) and this blog post from 2020.


  1. Tap link (e.g. example above) & download file.
  2. Locate file with your file browser:
    • iOS: Files App > find it in iCloud Downloads.
  3. Open the file:
    • iOS: In Files App tap/hold the file and in pop up menu select Move > iCloud Drive > Wotja THEN open Wotja, Documents screen > Action > Refresh and tap file to open it.
      • Pro FS only: In Files App just double tap on the file to import it into Wotja (you will need to rename it if you do this).
    • Other OS:
      • FIRST move the file to your Wotja Folder THEN open Wotja, Documents screen > Action > Refresh and tap file to open it.
      • Pro FS only:
        • Desktop variants: No need to first move file, just double tap on it to open it in Wotja!
        • Alt macOS: Right click on it; Select "Open With..."; Choose Wotja

Share via Clipboard

Importing WJURLs from the clipboard is a Pro FS feature


  • In a text editor, open a Wotja Mix, Template or Album file and copy all the text to the clipboard (or Share as WJURL).
  • Paste it into e.g. a text message, forum post, social media post etc.

Open (Import WJURL)

  • Select and copy the WJURL from text message, forum post, social media post (you can select the whole message etc. if that is easier).
  • Open Wotja and in Documents select, as relevant, the Mixes (& Templates) or Albums Screen, tap on the Add New button and "From Clipboard" option.
  • The WJURL will be imported into Wotja and auto-opened.

Share as WJURL

WJURL Weblink Examples: Album WJURL | Mix WJURL | Template WJURL

Note: W23.5+ is required for Template WJURLs.

Share (i.e. 'How to Wotjafy a webpage')

Note: Exporting WJURLs from Wotja requires a 'Pro' Feature Set (FS)

  • It's easy to 'Wotjafy' a webpage!
  • 'Wotjafying' a webpage simply means embedding in it a Mix WJURL, Album or Template WJURL so as to allow your website visitor to:
  • Export a WJURL: See the Tutorial "Export a Mix to Clipboard". This shows how to Mix Actions button to export a Wotja file to clipboard as a Wotja URL ('WJURL').
  • Paste it somewhere: Paste the text into a message or paste it into a webpage weblink (<a href="paste-your-WJURL-here">Name of your file</a>); see the Web Play examples.
  • Webpage owner:
    • Make it easy to Launch Wotja:
      • Reason: If Wotja is not already open, then the WJURL will not play!
      • Note: For the code below to work, the visitor must already have Wotja installed.
      • Add an embedded a href link wotja://command=launchapp to your webpage, BELOW any WJURL.
      • Use this code if you wish:
        • <a href="wotja://command=launchapp"><img class="icon-im" src="/ws/images/svg/wotja-launch.svg" width="26" height="26" alt="Wotja Launch Icon" title="Wotja not playing? Tap button; Select 'Open' or 'Allow'; Background Wotja; Refresh webpage"></a> Tap button; Select 'Open' or 'Allow'; Background Wotja; Refresh webpage.
      • This will display the following:
        • Wotja Launch Icon« Tap button; Select 'Open' or 'Allow'; Background Wotja; Refresh webpage.
    • Make it easy to stop Wotja:
      • Wotja will stop playing when the browser tab opens another page (i.e. the user leaves the current page).
      • If the user instead, however, opens ANOTHER tab to go to another page on your site then you can include the text wotja://command=stop in any such webpage, such as this one, and it will stop the Wotja Safari Extension playing.
      • IMPORTANT: This must be the first WJURL in the page (if you have others) - it can even be hidden, as it is in this page
  • Tips:

Open (Import WJURL)

Note: Importing WJURLs into Wotja requires a 'Pro' Feature Set (FS)

  • Apple:
    • iOS: Tap on link (e.g. example above) and in pop-up "Do you want to allow this page to open “”?" select "Allow"; File is imported into Wotja and auto-opens.
    • macOS: As above for iOS, or right click on link (e.g. example above); Select "Copy Link"; Open Wotja; In Documents select, as relevant, the Mixes (& Templates) or Albums Screen; tap on the Add New button and "From Clipboard" option.
  • Windows: Right click on link (e.g. example above) ; Select "Copy Link Location" (Firefox) or "Copy Link Address" (Chrome); Open Wotja; In Documents select, as relevant, the Mixes (& Templates) or Albums Screen; tap on the Add New button and "From Clipboard" option.
  • Android: Tap/hold on link (e.g. example above); Select "Copy Link Address"; Open Wotja; In Documents select, as relevant, the Mixes (& Templates) or Albums Screen; tap on the Add New button and "From Clipboard" option.

Web Play a WJURL (Safari only)

Web Play Examples

How to Web Play WJURLs | How to 'Wotjafy' a web page

For more playable examples see

Example 1 (tap to play)

WJURL (Album): See it as text!

Example 2 (tap to play)

WJURL (Album): Includes 6 Mixes

Example 3 (tap to play)

WJURL (Mix): In a weblink

Example 4 (tap to play)

WJURL (Mix): Hosted plug-in

Example 5 (tap to play)

WJURL (Mix): With Robots!

Example 6 (tap to play)

WJURL (Mix): Add-on Pak

Example 7 (tap to play)

WJURL (Mix): 3 in a web circle

How to Web Play WJURLs

Web Play Examples | Webpage owner: How to 'Wotjafy' a web page

Wotja Safari Extension for iOS/macOS required. See OS/Device Requirements.

  1. Get and install the Wotja App Bundle for Apple - you will need this (Wotja 23+ is required).
    • This includes the Wotja Safari Extension for iOS/macOS.
  2. Enable the Wotja Safari Extension:
    • Safari > Settings (or Preferences in earlier Safari) > Extensions > set "Wotja Safari Extension" checkbox to on.
      • Tip: If you don't want to enable for this website the Wotja Safari Extension (our website does not request or require ANY sensitive information such as passwords, phone numbers and credit cards etc.), you can still download the mixes embedded in each page and play them directly in Wotja.
  3. Launch Wotja:
    • Tap the app icon on your iOS or macOS device to launch it in the usual manner; or
    • Wotja Launch Icon« Tap button; Select 'Open' or 'Allow'; Background Wotja; Refresh webpage.
  4. Return to Safari:
  5. To stop Wotja playing:
    • Leave the page (by loading a different Safari tab); or
    • In the Wotja app itself, tap the bottom orange "Stop Safari Extension Player" button; or
    • Tap the plugin icon in the Safari URL bar, tap the entry for the Wotja Safari Extension and in the popup menu tap the "Stop" button.