In this work we describe our initial explorations in building a musical instrument specifically for providing listenerswith simple, but useful, ambient information. The termAmbient Musical Information Systems (AMIS) is proposedto describe this kind of research. Instruments like these differ from standard musical instruments in that they are tobe perceived indirectly from outside one’s primary focus ofattention. We describe our rationale for creating such a device, a discussion on the appropriate qualities of sound fordelivering ambient information, and a description of an instrument created for use in a series of experiments that wewill use to test out ideas. We conclude with a discussion ofour initial findings, and some further directions we wish toexplore.