A.R.T (version 4.4)


The core principle behind our music is that it is always dictated, in varying degrees, by chance.

Our reasoning behind this, the impacts of this process, our motivations, etc. are all discussed in greater detail elsewhere.

This page is dedicated to this small, very simple, program coded in Python. It is as much a tool for us as it is for you.

This program A.R.T (a.k.a V.E.R.N / F.R.E.D / M.T.G / W.H.O.A) is an online tool created by us (Łoł) to influence and randomise the music-making process, by prompting the creator (‘player’) with ‘rules’.

To use the program, simply click in the trinket box, and interact with the program.

The program contains a collection of various ‘rules’ that we have used to help inject randomness into the creative process. A large number of these rules are digitizations of analogue processes and tools we have used at one point or another. As such, this tool contains a 52-card deck of playing cards, coins, dice of various sizes, and a random integer generator.

You can use the tabs below to find out a little more about the program, and our process.

Learn more:

The rules

The ‘rules’ contained within the program generally follow the following format. They contain:

  1. A method by which you can arrive at a random value – for example; select a number of cards, or roll dice, or flip a coin.
  2. A suggestion for how to apply your randomly arrived at outcome, often in an additionally random way

What A.R.T does

Using this program you will:

  • Arrive at a random BPM (Beats Per Minute, or the tempo or ‘pace’ of a musical piece)
  • Arrive at a random Time Signature (The number of beats or pulses within one ‘bar’ of music, and the fractional value that one beat unit represents)
  • Arrive at a random ‘theme’ that can either abstractly or literally guide your writing process
  • Be given an instruction that you must implement during your ‘turn’
  • Be given either a turn length or a method to determine a turn length.

Additionally, you can use this program to:

  • Draw cards from a single deck of 52 cards (that are always shuffled after use)
  • Roll dice (you can decide how many dice to roll and how many sides they have)
  • Flip a coin (flip anny number of coins you want)
  • Generate a random number (you decide what range of numbers you’d like to have that number comes from)


The program is also designed to insult you should you not use it properly.

If you have any suggestions for rules, please email us coin@dice.cards with the subject “your rules suck”.


The program is ‘text’ based, and case-sensitive. Please use CAPS.

The program is written in Python with utf-8 encoding. It is made interactive using Trinket.io


The program is set to loop back to the starting state should it encounter any errors. However, there are some errors that may cause the program to crash. In this case, a pink error box will appear.

In the event of the pink box error, simply close the error box and restart the program.

To restart the Program

Next to the Trinket logo is a STOP button. Clicking that stops the program. Pressing RUN refreshes and re-starts the program.

In the Main Menu


RULE to navigate to a sub-menu for rules and restrictions related to: bpm / time signature / theme / turn length

CARD to draw any number of cards from a 52 card deck

COIN to flip any number of coins you decide

DICE to roll any number of dice, of any number of sides

NUM to generate a random number between any range you decide

LENGTH to generate either a length of time for your ‘turn’

QUIT to quit the program

In the RULE sub-menu


BPM to generate a rule governing bpm (beats per minute or tempo)

TIME to generate a rule governing time signature (expressed as x/y)

THEME to generate a way to randomly select a theme

TURN to generate either (a) a number of minutes for your turn, or (b) a method for you to determine the length of your turn

In a nutshell, A.R.T (version 4.x) is a program that helps eliminate all ego-driven decision-making. It was created as a way to formalise the process we use in our own sessions.

Our sessions

Traditionally our sessions involve x2 laptops/machines with DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) that we work on simultaneously.

Our sessions are divided into turns and it is usually left up to the flip of a coin to determine if we; (a) continue working on the same machine and song, or (b) swap over to the other machine and work on the other song.

What happens in a turn

Turns can last from anywhere between 10 – 50 minutes, and we flip cards, or roll dice, or flick through book pages… all in an effort to randomise the turn length.

In each turn, we give ourselves rules or restrictions that govern what we can and can’t do during that turns. For example; we might only be allowed to use a specific type of synth for an entire turn, or not be allowed to write any rhythm for the duration of the turn, etc.

After a turn

At the end of each turn we let chance decide if we change machines or stick to the current machine. We get new a new turn length and draw new rules that dictate our actions for the next turn.

We continue working in this way, turn after turn, on these 2 songs until we are done for the day.

What we get out of it

Not all of what we write is always pleasant, but it is always something beyond what we could’ve imagined doing, and more often than not, the restrictions have led us to discover new ways of working with equipment and software that we wouldn’t have thought to try.

The odd times where we manage to get something cohesive out of a session, it feels like you’ve achieved something important because of all the restrictions that should’ve derailed it.

Try it. And show us what you’ve made using it.

Version 4.4

  • The program now refers to itself as A.R.T (most of the time)
  • The program now pauses after a rule has been given.
  • Langauge has been ‘tidied’ to scale better for mobile

Version 4.3

The original version of A.R.T is designed as a collaborative tool for use with 2 or more musicians at one time. This version of the program is modified from the original in the following ways:

  • Any rules that mention ‘partner’ have been disabled
  • The menu function for ‘Switching Computers’ has been disabled
  • The menu function for ‘Power Cards’ has been disabled
  • Most rules that take you away from music-making (i.e. work on a video, cook lunch, make tea for the other person, etc.) have been disabled
  • Rules with severe consequences (such as delete, restart, etc.) have been disabled
  • Any Łoł specific tasks (work on ‘x’ track, or write methodology document, etc.) have been removed from rulesets
  • The insults have been toned down for public sharing