This video, by Rodrigo Constanzo, explores ‘concatenative synthesis’, an approach to synthesis that lets you play anything with anything:
C-C-Combine is a corpus-based audio mosiacing application, built in Max/MSP, based on concatenative synthesis. Concatenative synthesis is a technique for synthesizing sounds by concatenating short samples of recorded sound. It is essentially a type of granular synthesis that, instead of playing back grains based on position/windows, plays back grains based on analysis of incoming audio. In order to do this you must have a corpus (the pre-analyzed body of sounds) and an input sound source (either incoming audio or file playback).
You can get more info or download the patch at Constanzo’s site.