io 0.0.1 beta++ is rather special in being both an instrument and a player. And given the two attributes it has a very particular sound, ‘sound’ here referring to both timbral quality and the broader sense of having an indelible identity, a style, having its own sound. 
io has an extravagant range of sounds made with superhuman amounts of air, and superhuman articulations of air resistance: a hummingbird trill that can go on without the limit of breath, bleats, blats, a grainy slur, shifts between piping and sandy sounds, elephant-like trumpeting, a faint spitty-sounding purr, slushy trills, a hoarse blast of full-spectrum noise, scumbling, whispery hisses ramping up to loud razzing. It can make delicate birdlike chirpings then abruptly sound like a power tool under duress, or render sounds reminiscent of emergency vehicles.
 George E. Lewis, ‘Interacting with Latter-Day Musical Automata’, Contemporary Music Review, Vol.18, No.3, 99–112 (1999).
© 2011 Sara Roberts.
Read the first excerpt: ‘a curious situation (liner notes: io 0.0.1 beta++)’.
06–11–11: change release date to August 2011.