Gicheol Lee is an interactive designer and programmer who loves the challenge of what he does. Born and raised in South Korea, he has been in the U.S. for about three and a half years and currently works at Firstborn Multimedia in NYC. Prior to establishing himself in America, he worked as a UNIX system engineer, a web designer and an instructor. He's also authored two best selling guides to Flash in Korean. Gicheol holds an MFA degree in Computer Art from School of Visual Arts. His experimental web site has been awarded from Communication Arts Interactive Annual and I.D. Interactive Media Design Review.

AD: When you developed Visual Composer did you see yourself making a new musical instrument?

GL: I didn't think that I was making a new musical instrument. Rather, I think that I was setting up an environment that web users can visit and compose a bit of music and save it on the web. When I started thinking about this work, I wished that I could create some playful and collaborative environment similar to a guestbook, in which users can leave their tunes, not their text message. I imagined that it could be understood as a kind of the longest music in the world composed by multiple users. It is an application that works similar to a music composing software, but it's supposed to be intriguing and unique experience in that it is easily accessible through web browsers with Flash player.

AD: By having the users make their own compositions in Visual Composer, you may have found interesting or unexpected results. What was the result?

GC: The result was quite interesting. I've found good composers who left good tunes in Visual Composer, and I even found my music collaborator when I looked through the compositions they made. Visual Composer is actually very limited environment to compose good tunes. They have to use keyboard or mouse to compose, only maximum two dots can be clicked in each column. It turned out that people can be very creative even in this limited environment. It's very good to see that users are actively participating in this environment.

AD: What would you say to a master musician or composer who finds fault with things like anonymous, spontaneous collaboration or single purpose instruments played with a mouse? Are you rocking the boat of musical tradition?

GC: The web is still a new medium and new environment for musical experimentation. I haven't thought about musical tradition related to this work. All I can say is that I tried to push the boundaries. This work might be a useless little experimentation, and it's very limited, but through this experimentation we can envision what kind of multimedia experience can be possible on the web and we can get inspired through it. I'm sure this experiment has been very interesting to some musicians or composers, and I hope that it could have been helpful to those people.